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Understanding the Spirit World

Understanding the Spirit World

The spirit realm is real even when many people do not believe it is. This is why we need to have a deeper understanding of the spirit world. What is the doctrine of the spirit world and why does it matter?

The Reality of the Spirit Realm

The spirit world is that invisible realm inhabited by holy angels who actively serve God by ministering to the believers (Hebrews 1:14). But it is occupied by Satan’s demonic forces who oppose God and continuously wage war against God’s people (Ephesians 6:12).

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood

Have you noticed that things in our world aren’t always as they seem? One of the primary reasons why is the fact that Satan and his followers exist. We need to understand that the challenge for every Christian is far greater than merely dealing with the visible details of life.

The believer’s primary struggle for well-being is not only dependent on their flesh-and-blood relationships. Rather, it also involves unseen friends and enemies.

Angels: God’s Servants

The Bible tells us explicitly that angels are created spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 148:1-5). Angels are also endowed with power (Psalm 103:20), have a personality (Luke 1:26-38; 15:10), and do not die (Luke 20:36).

God created angels to worship (Hebrews 1:6) and serve the Lord (Psalm 103:20), and minister to believers (Hebrews 1:14).

Natural observations may not reveal the angels’ importance to us. However, faith in the Word of God assures us that God’s angels often mediate to carry our God’s sovereign acts in our lives.

What’s more astounding is the assurance of the Scriptures that angels do not always remain invisible. Thus, the letter to the Hebrews urges us to not forget to entertain strangers. Because by doing so, some have unwittingly entertained angels (Hebrews 13:2).

Satan and His Demons

Who is Satan? Satan is an especially powerful angel who rebelled against God. Although his act of rebellion is not described directly in the Bible, he is alluded to in Isaiah’s description of the king of Babylon (Isaiah 14:12-15). Ezekiel did the same in Ezekiel 28:11-19 when he referenced the king of Tyre.

The Bible also calls Satan the following names:

  • the devil
  • Lucifer
  • Beelzebub
  • Belial
  • serpent
  • dragon
  • ruler of the world
  • god of this age
  • prince of the power of the air
  • angel of light
  • accuser
  • deceiver
  • tempter
  • liar
  • murderer
  • the evil one

And because of Satan’s constant activity against God and His people, he is a far greater threat to us than any enemy, personal or national.

Be sober, be vigilant

Who are the demons? They are fallen angels who joined Satan in his rebellion. Theologians and Bible scholars believe that about 1/3 of all the angels joined Satan and God drove them away from heaven. Some of these demons are active as members of Satan’s army (Ephesians 6:12) while God locked others up in prison (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6).

These personal agents of Satan’s evil empire can stimulate and arouse the worst capacities and desires within us. Indeed, they don’t make us evil. However, they willingly dominate those who refuse to surrender their hearts and lives to God.

The Activities of Satan

Satan, with the help of his demon followers, plants false Christians among the true (Matthew 13:24-30, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). He seeks to devour the Lord’s people (1 Peter 5:8) and falsely accuses God’s children (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-5; Zechariah 3:1-10; Revelation 12:10).

Satan also rules over the unsaved world (John 12:31; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2) and can possess unbelievers (Mark 5:1-13; Acts 5:16). He deceives people through his outright lies (John 8:44) and his cleverly-designed thought systems (Colossians 2:8, 20-23; 1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Christians are constantly interacting with the working of Satan and his minions. Like Peter (Matthew 16:23), we are unaware of God’s ways that even our good intentions can serve Satan’s purposes. It is for this reason that we must continually depend on the Lord’s guidance and leadership.

Christ Defeated Satan and His Forces

Just when Satan thought he was winning, the Lord Jesus broke his power by His death and resurrection (Colossians 2:14-15; Hebrews 2:14-15).

Today, the devil and his forces operate as defeated foes. They know they are doomed to the lake of fire (Matthew 8:29; Revelation 20:10). This is why they are working double time to mislead and deceive God’s people.

We must keep in mind that God has already determined Satan’s final outcome. His predetermined fate is a terrible reality that should help us to avoid either carelessness or despair.

Colossians 2:15, NIV

Defeating Satan

How do Christians defeat Satan? Those who have placed their trust in Christ can overcome Satan in their daily lives by:

  • submitting to God and resisting the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9)
  • being aware of his strategy and avoiding the sins that give him a foothold in our lives (1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 2:10-11; 1 Timothy 3:6-7; Ephesians 4:26-27)
  • putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18)
  • rejecting all forms of occult activity such as magic, witchcraft, and spiritism (Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Micah 5:12; Isaiah 8:19)

Conclusion

Satan and his demon followers are real and they dominate the spirit realm.

Many of us may have experienced his attacks and suffered his wrath. This leads to the question, “Why is God allowing His people to go through Satan’s schemes and tactics? Why does Satan still have a hold on the believer’s life?”

Jesus already defeated Satan; He has won the victory. Satan seems to be winning now but his fate has already been sealed. He is destined to suffer in the lake of fire together with his followers.

If you haven’t accepted God’s gift of salvation, now is the time to do it. Acknowledge you’re a sinner, confess your sins, and receive God’s forgiveness.

Surrender your life to God and live for His glory while waiting for Christ‘s promised return.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Spiritual Warfare in the End Times by Ron Rhodes

Spiritual Warfare in the End Times by Ron RhodesUnderstand the Battle Before You Enter It

When you think about the end times, you’ve probably already considered the rapture, the tribulation, and the Antichrist. But are you prepared for the spiritual warfare that is already escalating around us as we draw closer to the final days?

Now more than ever, it is essential to equip yourself with God’s truth so you can stand against the encroaching darkness.

In Spiritual Warfare in the End Times, bestselling prophecy author Ron Rhodes powerfully exposes Satan’s most destructive and effective tools of spiritual injury—and the means of rendering them ineffective.

Though Satan will always want to diminish your capacity to serve in God’s kingdom, God promises you’ll never fight him alone.

Spiritual Warfare in the End Times will provide you with all you need for victory both now and in the future.

What is the Doctrine of God?

What is the Doctrine of God?

Christianity is not the only worldview that believes in the existence of God. But what makes Christianity different is its fundamental beliefs on who God is. This is where the importance of the doctrine of God comes in.

Without a stern knowledge of the God of the Bible, we can easily become vulnerable to the doctrines of demons. It is for this reason that we need foundations of doctrine based not on tradition but on Scripture.

Who is God?

The God of the Bible, the Christians God, is Yahweh. He is the one (Deuteronomy 6:4), ultimate (Psalm 97:9; Isaiah 40:12-31), and eternal being (Psalm 90:2). God is the creator (Genesis 1:1), who rules (Psalm 115:3) and sustains all that exists (Job 38:1-41; Acts 7:24-28).

I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me.

There may be countless substitutes who divert worship to themselves. But there is only one Creator and Savior – God. He is the life-giver who deserves our gratitude. God controls every heartbeat and circumstance; He alone deserves our trust when it comes to our family and finances.

It’s because God is eternal that no one will outlive Him. He is the Lord of lords, the King of kings, and the only one in the universe to whom we must finally answer.

How Do We Know God Exists?

We are constantly challenged by atheists, skeptics, and hecklers to prove that there is a God. How do Christians prove the existence of God? This problem is solved in the first verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

The Bible is not a textbook that attempts to prove the existence of God – the Bible opens with the positive fact that God does exist. The Bible plainly states that it is the fool who denies the existence of God (Psalm 14:1).

Countless apologetic books explain in great detail the various proofs for the existence of God. This includes the following:

  • The wonders of nature witness God’s existence as Creator (Psalm 19:1-4).
  • The inner voice of our conscience testifies to God’s existence as Lawgiver and Judge (Romans 1:18-32; 2:12-16).
  • And the love of Christ reveals God’s existence as Savior and Friend (John 1:1-18; 15:15).

Acceptance of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God,” leads a sincere seeker into the path of a fuller revelation of God Himself.

God made Himself self-evident. Let us come as children in simple faith, based on the revelation of God in Scripture and nature, believing and trusting Him completely.

Hebrews 11:6, NLT

What is God Like?

The study of God has been the ambition of philosophers for millennia. Some sit and meditate and try to think into the realm of the eternal Being. But the only true knowledge about God can be gained from the Bible.

God is the one and only (Isaiah 44:6), immutable (James 1:17), invisible (Colossians 1:15), infinite (1 Kings 8:27), and perfect (Matthew 5:48) Spirit being (John 4:24). He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16), loving (1 John 4:8-16), and truthful in all that He does (John 3:33).

God has lived from all eternity as one God in three distinct persons (Matthew 28:19), and at one time He visited us as God in the flesh (John 1:1-14).

One God in Three Persons

The Bible tells us explicitly that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4).

So, where do we get the idea that God is one God in three persons? A careful study of the Scriptures will show that God exists in three Persons, that is, a Godhead manifested in three Persons.

The Bible emphasizes the unity of God (Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19). But it also describes Him as three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – all of whom are fully and equally God. See Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:8; 1 Peter 1:2.

But how can God be three Persons and one God at the same time? Would that not make three Gods, resembling pagan philosophy and contradicting Deuteronomy 6:4? The doctrine of the Trinity may be incomprehensible and contrary to reason. Isaiah 55:8-9 teaches that human reason has no bearing in the study of God.

The Trinity remains a mystery and will remain a mystery until we meet the Lord in glory.

God is Infinite

What do we mean when we say that God is infinite?

God is infinite in that He is unlimited (Luke 1:37). He is unrestricted by time, space, or circumstance. He is also eternally timeless (Psalm 90:2; Revelation 22:13), all-powerful (Matthew 19:26), all-knowing (Job 37:16), and omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-12; Matthew 28:20).

Yet, God remains distinct from His creation (Isaiah 40:18-26). He is limited only in the sense that He cannot do anything inconsistent with His own goodness (Titus 1:2; James 1:13).

To say that God is finite means He is vastly different from the gods of the Eastern mystics or Western materialists. Their gods are either so small and self-contradictory or so secular and inclusive. Thus, they cannot be distinguished from cows, rats, scorpions, statues, or human thought.

Read on the natural and moral attributes of God here.

God is the Creator and Sustainer

God is not “a creator” or someone who simply creates. He is “the Creator,” for by Him and through Him, all things were created (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). God created all things out of nothing and has touched everything in His creation directly.

Since God created all things, no one created Him; He alone is the Creator. Satan cannot create; He can only pervert. Humans cannot truly create because they must start with something that has already been created.

God is the Sustainer

God is also described as the Sustainer of all things (Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:17). To sustain something means to give it strength, protection, encouragement, and comfort. His sustainment is a holding together with a power that surpasses that of any human (GotQuestions.Org).

God sustains the universe, maintaining the power and balance necessary for life’s existence and continuity. What a comfort to know that the same God who keeps the planets aligned also holds you in His hands

Conclusion

Unfortunately, many are turned off by the term doctrine or theology and consider these two terms boring and useless. But a healthy relationship with God begins with an intellectual knowledge of who He is.

And for our knowledge of God to be accurate, the primary source must be the Bible, God’s special revelation of Himself.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue

Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth by John MacArthurLong-Awaited Systematic Theology by Well-Known Pastor, Author, and President of the Master’s Seminary

Doctrine isn’t just for theologians―it’s important for every Christian because it shows us who God is and how we should live.

Systematizing the robust theology that has undergirded John MacArthur’s well-known preaching ministry for decades, this overview of basic Christian doctrine covers topics such as God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, salvation, and more.

Comprehensive in scope yet written to be accessible to the average reader―with non-technical vocabulary, minimal footnotes, and a helpful bibliography―this volume offers Christians a solid foundation for what they believe and why.

The Spiritual Gifts in the Bible

The Spiritual Gifts in the Bible

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 focuses on spiritual gifts in the church. What are these spiritual gifts and do they still exist today?

Spiritual gifts are divine enablements for ministry that the Holy Spirit gives in some measure to all believers. They literally mean spiritual qualities or characteristics that are under the control of the Spirit. And these gifts are used for the building of the church for the glory of Christ (Romans 12:4-8).

Do Not Be Led Astray

Notice how the apostle Paul warned the church about being carried away by some idols (1 Corinthians 12:2-3). Incredibly, some church members were mimicking certain dramatic and bizarre practices in their old religion called ecstasy.

This practice is said to be the highest expression of religious experience. It involved supposed supernatural interaction with a deity, induced through frenzied hypnotic chants and ceremonies. The practice of ecstasy frequently included drunkenness and sexual orgies, to which the devotees willfully yielded themselves to sin.

Romans 12:6a

The Spirit Will Not Curse Jesus

To call somebody accursed is the most severe kind of condemnation. Some members of the Corinthian church were fleshly and given over to ecstasies that were controlled by demons.

In that condition, they claimed to be prophesying or teaching in the Spirit while demonically blaspheming the name of the Lord. They were condemning the very same Jesus whom they were supposed to be worshiping. These Corinthian believers had been judging the use of gifts based on experience and not content.

We know that Satan will always assault the person of Christ. Thus, the one cursing Christ could be a pagan claiming to be a Christian. All along, he was holding to a philosophy that all matter was evil, including the human Jesus.

Truth be told – Jesus is Lord. Anyone who affirms the lordship of Jesus has the truth from the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit will never call Jesus accursed! What a person says and believes about Jesus Christ is the test of whether he speaks from the Holy Spirit.

This is why 1 John 4:1 says we are to test every spirit whether they are of God. He who has the Holy Spirit always leads people to Christ’s lordship.

The Different Spiritual Gifts

Contrary to what some people think, these diversities of giftedness are not natural talents, skills, or abilities. These are sovereignly and supernaturally bestowed by the Holy Spirit on all believers. The Spirit gives these gifts to enable believers to spiritually edify each other effectively and thus honor the Lord.

There are two general types of gifts: speaking and serving. Included in the gift of speaking or verbal are prophecy, knowledge, wisdom, teaching, and exhortation. The gift of serving or non-verbal includes leadership, help, giving, mercy, faith, and discernment. All these gifts are permanent and will operate throughout the church age.

Some believers may be gifted categorically similar to others but are personally unique as the Spirit suits each gift to the individual.

Wisdom

In the New Testament, “wisdom” is most often used for the ability to understand God’s Word and His will. This also enables the believer to skillfully apply that understanding to life.

I sometimes read discussions between Christians who have minor theological disagreements. And I find it rather amusing that both of them accuse each other of not having the Holy Spirit. This kind of argument is unhealthy as it often creates division among the follower of Christ.

Difference between Knowledge and Wisdom

Word of Knowledge

In the first century, the gift of knowledge has been revelatory. But today, it refers to the ability to understand and speak God’s truth, with insight into the mysteries of His Word. It is important to emphasize that these cannot be known apart from God’s revelation (Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:3; Colossians 1:26; 2:2; 4:3).

How is knowledge different from wisdom? Knowledge majors on grasping the meaning of the truth; wisdom emphasizes the practical conviction and conduct that applies to it.

It’s not enough to have the gift of wisdom. You may understand God’s Word but if you do not know how to apply it, then it does not matter much.

Faith

This gift is distinct from saving faith or persevering faith, which all believers possess. The gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12:9a) is exercised in persistent prayer and endurance in intercession. It is coupled with a strong trust in God amid difficult circumstances.

Why do you think some believers start losing hope that God hears their prayers? It’s because they stopped believing that God hears them. Having the gift of faith spells all the difference. No matter how bad things may look, our faith enables us to persevere in prayer.

Healing

The gift of healing is one of the subjects of disagreement among Christians. Some claim this is a temporary sign gift that was limited to the apostles. While others say it continues to manifest today and will cease when Christ returns.

The fact remains that God hears and answers the prayers of the righteous (James 5:13-16).

Miracles

Again, some theologians claim this is a temporary sign gift to authenticate Christ and the apostolic preachers of the gospel. For instance, Acts 2:22 affirms that Jesus did miracles to “attest” that God was working through Him so that people would believe Him.

Whether the gift of miracles has ceased is a matter of dispute. One thing we need to know and be assured of is that God can still do miracles today if He wills to. God is not limited by what we think and believe. The Lord our God is all-powerful; there is nothing He can’t do for nothing is too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:27).

Prophecy

The meaning of the word is simply that of “speaking forth,” or “proclaiming publicly.” This connotes that it was added sometime in the Middle Ages.

Since the completion of Scripture, prophecy has not been a means of new revelation. Rather, it is limited to proclaiming what has already been revealed in the written Word. Even the biblical prophets were preachers, proclaimers of God’s truth by revelation and reiteration.

The best definition of this gift is given in 1 Corinthians 14:3 while its importance is in 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39. Its supremacy over other gifts, especially tongues is the theme of 1 Corinthians chapter 14.

2 Peter 1:20-21, NKJV

Distinguishing of Spirits

Satan is the great deceiver (John 8:44) and his demons counterfeited God’s message and work. Christians with the gift of discernment have the God-given ability to recognize lying spirits and to identify deceptive and erroneous doctrines.

In Acts 16:16-18, Paul illustrated the use of this gift, as Peter exercised it in Acts 5:3. When the believers in Corinth were not exercising it, grave distortion of the truth occurred (1 Corinthians 12:3; 14:29).

Although its operation has changed since apostolic times, because of the completion of Scripture, it is still essential to have people with this gift. They are the guardians, the watchmen who protect the church from demonic lies and false doctrines,

As it requires diligent study of the Word to exercise the gifts of knowledge, wisdom, preaching, and teaching, so it does with discernment.

Tongues and Interpretation

The gift of tongues was identified in Acts 2:5-12 as languages that validated the gospel as divine. These languages were given by the Spirit as a sign of judgment to unbelieving Israel.

However, there’s another kind of speaking in tongues discussed by Paul in chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians. Although he said it would be more beneficial to prophesy than to speak in tongues, Paul did not deny this gift is of the Spirit.

Anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but God (1 Corinthians 14:2). Paul recognized that, normally, when someone spoke in tongues, no one else could understand him. The reason is simple: with the gift of tongues, the intention is to speak to God and not man. Therefore, it is fine if no one understands him because God understands him.

When no one understands the “tongue’s” speaker, it does not mean it isn’t a language, or that they are merely speaking “gibberish.” It means they speak in the spirit and that they speak mysteries.

But Paul emphasized that it would be better if the speaker could interpret what he said so that the church may be edified (1 Corinthians 14:5, 13). The goal must be a mutual benefit at church meetings. If there must be tongues, they must be interpreted, so there can be edification.

The Same God at Work

God gives every believer unique ministry arenas in which to fulfill their giftedness. He also provides varieties of power to energize and accomplish them.

No matter what the gift, ministry, or effect, all spiritual gifts are from the Holy Spirit. They make Him known, understood, and evident in the church, and the world, by spiritually profiting all who receive their ministry.

Final Words

While stressing the diversity of gifts, Paul also stressed the singular source – the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11). He distributes them not according to our will but as the Spirit of God wills it.

Why would He choose to give a particular gift at a particular moment? The larger reasons may not be apparent, but the goal of the Holy Spirit’s work is always to glorify Jesus and to build His nature and character in us.

The Holy Spirit distributes and we receive.


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource: The Holy Spirit – Spiritual Gifts: Amazing Power for Everyday People by Susan Rohrer

The Holy Spirit - Spiritual Gifts: Amazing Power for Everyday People by Susan Rohrer Do You Want to Experience God’s Power in Your Everyday Life?

We sit in our pews and hear about the awesome power of God the Father. Also, we marvel at the miracles of Jesus. Then off we go, never expecting those supernatural spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow through us in the here and now.

That’s exactly what this author did, until one day she was confronted with a stunning possibility: that miracles of biblical proportions can and do still happen, even in the lives of the humblest among us. Even you.

The challenge? It meant getting to know the Holy Spirit, that enigmatic Third Person of the Trinity she’d heard so little about in traditional teaching. It meant braving controversy about spiritual gifts, searching the Scriptures, and venturing into new waters in faith.

This scripturally referenced how-to book with workbook-style applications is ideal for individual or group Bible Study, geared at building a highly accessible, scriptural foundation for the Person and supernatural spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.

How Important is the Trinity Doctrine?

How Important is the Trinity Doctrine?

The Doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most attacked in Christianity. Opponents insist that anyone who believes in a three-in-one God violates the first commandment of Moses (Exodus 20:1-3).

Needless to say, the biblical teaching of a triune God is also of the greatest importance. For many centuries, Bible scholars and theologians have made serious claims in support of the Trinity. They held to the view that the one true God exists in three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Belief in a Triune God

Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant branches of the church all agree that the Doctrine of the Trinity is firmly grounded in Scripture. They all agree that the teaching of a three-in-one God is consistent with the trail of Old Testament evidence of the same doctrine.

In the Old Testament, although there are strong implications that God is one, He is not a solitary Being. For instance, writers of the OT often use language that makes us think of plurality within this unity.

2,570 times in the Old Testament, the word translated “God” is Elohim which is a plural term. Except in five instances, the word refers to the one God who is the Creator, Master, and Sustainer of everything.

John 14:7

Sometimes, God used a plural pronoun when speaking of Himself (Genesis 1:26; Genesis 3:22). Moses, in declaring that God is one, used the same word he had employed to describe the “one flesh” relationship of a man and his wife. (See Deuteronomy 6:4 and Genesis 2:24.)

The word one in Deuteronomy 6:4 allows the idea of a plurality of Persons within the unity of the Godhead. Thus, we see that both the Old and New Testaments give us reason to believe that one can be more than one.

This may be beyond our ability to fully understand, but not a reason to reject it.

God is One, Not Three

It is clear from the Scriptures that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. That each has a distinct personality. Does that add up to three Gods? You may say yes if you’re working with mathematics or thinking of three separate people.

However, we are dealing with a God who is revealed in the Bible as one God, who has existed eternally as three distinct Persons. We must emphasize that God is one Being, not three. Therefore, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three separate Gods, but three separate Persons.

As distinct Persons, each functions in His own unique manner. Each Person is self-conscious and self-directing. Yet, not one of them ever acts independently of the others or in opposition to them. Their minds, wills, and emotions are in perfect unity.

The distinction between the three Persons in the Godhead was evident at the time of Christ’s baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). We see the Son coming up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove, and the Father speaking from heaven.

Jesus also affirmed the Trinity when He commanded His disciples to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

Explaining the Trinity

I have heard a lot of illustrations to explain the Trinity. Some people use egg and say, “The yolk, the white, and the shell make up the egg. See, it’s three-in-one!” Others may say that water can exist as ice, liquid, and steam. But in any form, it is just water. There’s your three-in-one!

There could be more illustrations, like a minister being a father to his children, a husband to his wife, and a pastor to his church. But I’d say this is the worst illustration. Why? It’s because this is a repetition of the hearsay that the triune God is just three manifestations of the way God works.

These analogies add little light to the subject of the Trinity. At best, they may only reflect the three-in-oneness of the Creator.

The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust Modern Translations? Paperback – June 1, 2009

Does It Matter?

Why do many people put so much emphasis on the doctrine of the Trinity? What difference does it make whether a person believes in it or not? If a person has placed his faith in the risen Savior, isn’t that faith adequate for salvation?

The Trinity is one of the most basic and life-related teachings of the Bible; no Christian should underscore its importance.

Let us take the most well-known verse in the Bible, John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Anyone who does not believe in the Trinity would have to say that in this verse, God sent His first created being to die so that we might be saved. You may ask, “What’s the big deal with that?” If this was so, then what God did was nothing more than sending one of His creatures to save others.

On the other hand, if you believe in the Trinity, you will accept John 3:16 as a declaration of a breathtaking truth. That God loves us so much that He, in the person of the Son, came to share our pain and provide salvation at a great cost. This in effect, makes Calvary the supreme manifestation of God’s love and holiness.

The Triune God Shared Our Pain

We often put a great deal on what Jesus suffered on the cross. But what about the Father and the Holy Spirit?

Imagine the pain that a mother and father suffer as they watch their child endure pain and suffering. The relationship of the Persons within the Godhead is closer than that of family members. So, how can the Father and the Holy Spirit not be affected by the suffering of the Son?

The Godhead has shared, and still shares, the pain of His creatures. He chose to create and give His moral creatures the freedom to sin that brought pain and death into this world. Yet, He chose to share in our suffering and sorrow.

Aren’t you grateful that we serve a God who, in Christ, suffered for us? God conquered death for us; He understands our pain. Here’s more great news – what Christ did will someday bring all of God’s children into a world without suffering, tears, or death.

Final Words

We may never comprehend God fully because He’s incomprehensible. God is so different from us and so awesomely great. But He is knowable.

The God who exists eternally in three Persons has reached down to us. He has made Himself known to people during the past ages by supernatural appearances and audible speech. But then, 2,000 years ago, God made Himself known to us in the Person of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:2).

You and I can know God by looking to Jesus and believing in Him. In many passages in the Bible, Jesus tells us that He came to make known the Father to us. Jesus said that anyone who knows Him will know the Father as well (John 14:7). He also said that He came to do the will of the Father who sent Him (John 6:38).

Let us pay attention to the words of our Lord and set ourselves to obey Him. After all, Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves

Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Michael Reeves Why is God love? Because God is a Trinity.

And why can we be saved? Because God is a Trinity.

How are we able to live the Christian life? Through the Trinity.

In this lively book, we find an introduction to Christianity and the Christian life that is from start to finish rooted in our triune God―Father, Son, and Spirit.

Not only do we understand the person and work of Christ through the Trinity, but also prayer, the church, and every aspect of our faith.

With wit and clarity, Reeves draws from church history down to the present referencing a wide range of notable teachers and preachers.

Here is a rich and enjoyable portrayal of the basic beliefs of Christianity that opens up the profound and life-changing truths of our faith.

A Testimony of the Grace of God

A Testimony of the Grace of God

God has blessed us so much in many ways and we ought to bless others as well. One way of doing this is through our testimony and sharing our journey to faith in Christ.

It is an honor for us here at Biblical Christianity to publish the testimony of a brother in the Lord, Carlo Caputo.


Dear Fellow Christians,

I was a Christian for over a year before I realized I was a true child of God. At the age of 34, God graciously gave me eternal life according to His promises in the Holy Bible. I had always thought I was a Christian and that I would go to heaven when I died because of my Roman Catholic heritage.

I now realize that despite all my church attendance, sacraments, and commandment keeping, I would have gone straight to hell. It’s because I was trusting in my own merits to earn salvation, rather than depending on Jesus to save me.

It seems that everyone strives for two goals in life – security and significance. If a person would honestly analyze their motives, I believe that they would see that all their activities in life fall into these two categories. 

The need to feel accepted by others (security) and the need to feel important (significance) are our two main driving factors.

How I Became A Roman Catholic

Although my parents were not practicing Catholics, they sent me to Catholic schools. And I received the sacraments as I grew in age: Infant Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, etc.

I turned to God early in life because I could not find love anywhere in the home, nor in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood where I was raised. Violence and rejection were everywhere. So my attention was focused on trying to please the Lord to receive the positive reinforcement that I desperately needed.

My efforts were directed through the only way I knew – the Catholic Institution. “Mother Church” became my source of security, and, my devout adherence to its teachings became my source of significance.

I attended daily Mass and Communion for almost 25 years. If I missed mass during the week, I would try to make up for it by going to extra Masses on the weekend. Many a time, as a teenager, I would sit through four or five Masses on Saturday morning. Then say an entire Rosary at each Station of the Cross.

I would give up eating meat for the entire season of Lent. I say this not to boast of my piousness, but to show the utter futility of it all (see Ephesians 2:8-9 and Titus 3:5).

However, with all this religious activity, there was still an emptiness inside me that I could not explain. I thought I wasn’t doing enough for God, so I would make additional and countless sacrifices to make the Lord accept me.

But still, there was a void within me that I could not seem to fill. I did not try to find happiness by the sinful pleasures of the world and I continually strived to please God,  but deep down inside I always felt I was missing the mark.

Roman Catholicism

Considering Priesthood

While in college, I took Army ROTC and therefore incurred a military obligation after graduate school. After serving as a company commander at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, I volunteered for Vietnam and departed overseas.

At the age of 27, while still living a celibate lifestyle, I seriously considered the priesthood. I wrote to every diocese in the United States and every Catholic Religious Order. I already had eight years of college before entering the military. But to become a Catholic priest involved five additional years of postgraduate study in Philosophy and Theology, which did not seem appealing.

So, when I returned to the States from Vietnam, I became involved with numerous Catholic activities and was elected Parish Council President. I felt that I could serve the Lord without becoming a priest and avoid the time of additional education.

My Charismatic Experience

In the meantime, some sincere Catholic friends were telling me of a new life in the Spirit through the “charismatic experience.” After two years of being “witnessed to,” I received the “gift of tongues” during a Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference.

The fact that this occurred on All Saints Day was a tremendous boost for my “spiritual ego.” Through this experience, I became a better Catholic. The Mass became more meaningful, the words of the priest became more profound and his sermons were a blessing.

I purchased a Catholic Bible and started attending Catholic Charismatic Bible studies and prayer meetings. There had always been a “missing link” in my search for the Lord and now I thought I had found it.

With the ecumenical flavor of the charismatic influence, it did not seem too great a sin to associate with Protestants, so, I started dating a Baptist. After we were engaged, she decided to become Catholic. She took instructions in the Catholic faith and we were married by a priest in a Catholic Church with full nuptial blessings.


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New Life in Christ: What Really Happens When You're Born Again and Why It Matters

Joining the Baptist Church

After a while, I joined the Baptist Church to get a better understanding of her background. About a year later we left the Baptist church and joined a Pentecostal fellowship where we remained for three years.

Although I was a very active member of these various churches, the gospel of salvation was never really explained to me, 

and therefore I remained lost. All of this time, I still wanted to return to the Catholic Church. All of my formal education, except for fifteen years of post-graduate studies, was in Catholic schools, so my devotion to Catholicism was still very strong.

I was very uncomfortable with non-Catholics and grew very resentful towards Protestants in general. I was bitterly opposed to Fundamentalists, especially when they would oppose Catholicism, which I defended vehemently.

Frankly speaking, what I saw in Protestants made me want to return to the Catholic Church all the more. I didn’t realize at the time, that many Protestants are without Christ and also need to be “born again,” just like Catholics need biblical salvation.

Sinner Saved by Grace

Sometime later, my life started to change and I couldn’t understand why. Rock music became increasingly irritating, and I enjoyed driving the speed limit.

My greatest change was noticed in my desire to read the Bible. I had always found it difficult to study the Bible, but now I could not put it down. I suddenly had a deep hunger for TRUTH and I felt the Lord leading me to understand the basic doctrines of Biblical Christianity.

As I grew spiritually, I finally realized why my life was changing. A year and a half before this, I was reading a book on Basic Christianity. Here, I learned that I had a sinful nature. This rebellious nature of all mankind is the original sin of Adam & Eve. We are all born with it and will die with it and this is what causes us to sin (see Galatians 5:17).

While I was reading this book, I realized why I was a condemned sinner. And that I could never save myself by good works, but that Jesus Christ had to save me. At this point, I threw myself at the Lord’s mercy and cried out that I wanted to be born again.

I did not become aware that this act of faith is what makes one a Christian until later when I fully understood the meaning of salvation.

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Catholicism vs. Biblical Christianity

Further Bible study revealed some shocking differences from what I had been taught as a Catholic.

I could not find anything about monks, nuns, novenas, sacraments, indulgences, etc. Some would insist that these are part of “Catholic Tradition” which, is “sacred.” They would even refer to 2 Thessalonians 3:6 to justify that there is nothing wrong with this tradition.

I would agree, except when “Sacred Tradition” contradicts Sacred Scripture, then it becomes a serious issue, as warned by Jesus Himself in Matthew 15:6.

I discovered that the Catholic doctrine of:

  • salvation contradicts Romans 4:5, Ephesians 2:8-9; and Titus 3:5;
  • Purgatory contradicts 1 John 1:7;
  • confession contradicts 1 John 2:1
  • holy days of obligation contradict Colossians 2:16;
  • the office of the Pope contradicts 1 Peter 5:13;
  • mandatory celibacy for priests contradicts 1 Timothy 4:3;
  • the title for priest contradicts Matthew 23:9;
  • praying to saints contradicts 1 Timothy 2:5;
  • the Mass contradicts Hebrews10:10-18; etc.

It disturbed me that many Roman Catholic priests were speaking in tongues, yet hearing confessions. They were performing miracles, yet they were still teaching about Purgatory.

What was their source of power for the miraculous, I wondered? It could not be the Holy Spirit if they were still preaching a false way to heaven!

Protestantism vs. Biblical Christianity

I also noticed a familiar preaching style among Pentecostals. During my time in the Army at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, I was trained in Psychological Warfare.

I noticed that the same mind control techniques that I was taught to incite riots and rebellion were the same preaching techniques that Pentecostals were using in their sermons to manipulate their congregations. See 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

In addition, as I grew to understand the basic doctrines of sin and salvation, I found other charismatics in direct disagreement with the basic essential doctrines of Biblical Christianity.

They believed that it was possible to lose one’s salvation, which contradicts John 10: 28-29. They also believed that one can rise above sin, which contradicts 1 John 1:8.

Finally, I realized that if charismatics, who claim to be so “filled with the Holy Spirit,” could be in such Scriptural error, then what they had must be another spirit. And that the “full gospel” was “another gospel” (see 2 Corinthians 11:4).

It then became obvious to me that the Charismatic Movement is a clever Satanic move. This is the enemy’s weapon to get people to bypass Calvary and get them to the Upper Room where they can perform the “signs of an apostle” without being truly converted. See Matthew 7:21-23 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.

It is noteworthy that the method, by which the Devil used to bring sin into the world, was to entice Eve to become more spiritual; and he still uses the same tactics today.

The Truth Has Set Me Free

I thank God every day for my deliverance from Romanism and Pentecostalism. I now fellowship and worship in an independent, fundamental, Christ-honoring assembly where the Word of God is our sole authority.

It is only through the true power of the Holy Spirit that I could have been freed from the bondage of all the heresies and unsound teachings to which I had been exposed.

The Lord Jesus promised, “You shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall make you free” (John 8:32). I had sought the Lord since I was a child and God honored my search.

Jeremiah 29:13

Many Roman Catholics may probably think that I have “abandoned my faith” but that’s not the case. In reality, I have forsaken any hope of achieving heaven by my own good works. Instead, have put my trust in the complete and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I came to believe that Jesus Christ did all the penance for my sins. And the only thing left to do to go to heaven is to have faith in the crucifixion of Christ as a complete atonement for my sins.

In my life without Christ, I had no real peace or joy in my heart. I was a loner and felt very uncomfortable around unfamiliar people. I was extremely insecure and had many fears inside of me that I tried to overcome by being boisterous and aggressive.

Due to the hostile environment of my youth, I was a very angry person and became easily upset with trivial matters.

Living a New Life in Christ

Now, by the abundant grace of God, I find myself being able to build relationships with all types of people. I have become secure in Christ, not in any religion or church. Having the assurance of eternal life and knowing Christ personally as a friend, has given me significance.

It is my prayer, that all who read this may find their security and significance in the Christ of the Bible. Receive God’s gift of eternal life by placing your complete trust in Jesus Christ and look forward to being with Him throughout all eternity.

AMEN.

Your brother in Christ,
Carlo Caputo

The Importance of a Quiet Time

The Importance of a Quiet Time

Spending daily quiet time with God is essential for every Christian who wants to grow in their spiritual life. Just like in every relationship, the more time we spend with God, the more intimate we become with Him.

Setting aside time to seek God at the beginning of each day is also important because we do not know what each day may bring. God, on the other hand, knows and sees everything that is bound to take place.

When we make it a daily habit to come to God, we are acknowledging that there is nothing we can accomplish without Him. Spending time with God shows our complete dependence on Him for guidance, protection, and the provision of all our needs.

Why We Should Observe Quiet Time

Can any Christian who fails to maintain a quiet time with God honestly say they can begin the day well, go on well, or end up well?

By nature, we are all weak, ignorant, wayward, sinful, and fearful. Thus, we need strength, wisdom, guidance, restoration, and courage. We can only have all of these by spending time alone with God every day.

Christians who neglect to observe a quiet time often end up living careless lives as they are unable to resist temptations and sinful desires. There’s also the consequent disaster of them getting robbed of their joy in the Lord and usefulness in ministry.

Spending Time Alone with God

We must intentionally reserve and conscientiously keep this “quiet time” period to God. Nothing should get in the way; not the devil, the world, and the flesh. Sure, these three forces will work together to attempt to disrupt our daily program. They will convince us that “there’s no time.” Or that there are more important things we need to do other than seeking God.

But we must make an effort to maintain a daily quiet time with God. Let us defend this time alone with God from all attempts of the enemy to steal it from us.

How to Prepare for the Quiet Time

To prepare for the quiet time, first, we must select the best time for it.

Whether it be in the morning or evening, the same principles apply. The circumstances may vary but we must allocate enough time for breakfast and getting ready for work. Keep in mind that you are reserving the most important part of your day to God.

Second, we must get up on time. Use an alarm clock if you tend to oversleep.

If you have to wake up one or two hours earlier than you usually do, then by all means you should. This may not be as easy as it sounds as it does require determination and self-discipline. Who does not want to sleep in a little bit?

Rising on time is largely dependent on going to bed on time the night before. Instead of binge-watching movies, settle in early for bed so you can also get up early. As Psalm 127:2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late.” When we cultivate the custom of waking up at a particular time, soon it becomes a habit that yields blessings.

Third, wash up and get dressed.

While some people prefer to be still in their pajamas, having a nice shower thoroughly awakens you. This is to make sure that you will not be half-asleep during the quiet time. Rather, you are at your best physically and mentally to talk with and listen to God.

Observance of the Quiet Time

Observance of the Quiet Time

How long should the quiet time be? It depends. Each Christian must determine for himself/herself how much time they are to devote to God. Suppose we determine that we will spend thirty minutes for our “quiet time,” how do we use this wisely?

These thirty minutes are divided into three: 1) praise and worship, 2) Bible-reading and meditation 3) prayer.

1. Praise and Worship

While many Christians put the reading of the Scriptures first, I prefer to approach God’s throne with songs of praise and worship. It is important to spend the first ten minutes expressing our gratitude and reverence to God through songs.

The Bible tells us that “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3, KJV). In other translations, we read, “The Lord is enthroned on the praises of His people.” This simply means that when we sing God’s praises, His presence is sure to come down and be with us.

What better way to come to God during the quiet time than with songs of praise, thanksgiving, and worship? When we offer praise, we are not only expressing our gratitude for all that God is doing in our lives. But we are also glorifying God.

There are so many things we need to praise God for. We praise God for giving us His Son and the Holy Spirit. God also continually pours out His blessings, thus, we must give Him the highest praise. Each believer must cultivate the habit of thanksgiving and praise.

Worship, on the other hand, is the heart’s occupation with God Himself. It is the highest occupation of the child of God in this life. And it shall be our service to God for eternity (Revelation 4:11; 5:12). My pastor used to say, “If you do not know how to worship God now, how can you worship God in heaven? The only thing left to do in heaven is worship.”

Thus, with reverence and awe, gratitude and amazement, let us worship God during quiet time.

Praise and Worship During Quiet Time

2. Scripture Reading & Meditation

We spend the next ten minutes reading God’s Word.

Did you know that the average chapter of the Bible can be read within five minutes? If you don’t know where to start, you can set a definite course of reading plan. A good plan includes a chapter each from the Old and New Testaments. Read the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament in the evening before bedtime.

Read each chapter reverently and prayerfully. Do not rush to finish it; take time to absorb every exhortation and encouragement from God. Reading it audibly will also help you focus and prevents your mind from wandering.

Use the remaining five minutes to meditate on what you just read. Meditation may not be easy at first but it can be developed by practice. As you hear God’s voice, do not hesitate to ask God for spiritual enlightenment.

Pray as David prayed in Psalm 119:18, “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.”

You may ask questions such as:

  • What is God trying to tell me through this passage?
  • How do I apply the principles I learned from this passage in my life?

3. Prayer

Spend the remaining ten minutes in prayer. But what should we pray about?

First, there should be confession and denouncing of all known sins on our part. Then we must come to God in humility to ask Him for cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). No one is worthy to approach God’s holy throne all on their own. But because of what Christ has done, we can now come to Him with confidence (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12).

Second, there should be supplication for others. We should not only ask God for our personal needs; that’s selfishness on our part. Rather, we must also remember the needs of others and present them to God. 

Quote on Prayer

Christians are called to be intercessors (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:1-2). We should pray for those in authority over us, our family, relatives, and friends, particularly for the unsaved. Let us also remember in our prayers those who are seeking to preach the Gospel all around the world.

God’s Word tells us, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16, NIV). Indeed, prayer is powerful. Prayer is a mighty force as it moves the hand of Him who moves the world.

Final Words

Maintaining a consistent daily quiet time is of absolute importance to anyone who professes to be a follower of Christ. Thirty minutes each day or a minimum of fifteen minutes is not that long to spend with God. We should not see this as a burden. Rather, let us enjoy every moment that we are face to face with God during our quiet time.

How much time do you set aside for your quiet time? What other activities do you do aside from those that are mentioned here? Was there ever a time that you slacked off and neglected your quiet time?

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comment section below this article. 

God bless you!


Recommended Resource: Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time: Discovering Radical Intimacy with God by Catherine Martin

Six Secrets to a Powerful Quiet Time: Discovering Radical Intimacy with God  by Catherine MartinAre you enjoying the closeness with God you desire? Have your prayer times transformed your life from the inside out? Do you sense God speaking to you through your Bible reading?

Now you can join Catherine Martin on an exciting 30-day journey to discover how to really have a quiet time.

She provides effective, practical steps you can take to go deeper with God as you discover how to organize your quiet time, learn the revolutionary P.R.A.Y.E.R. Quiet Time Plan, experience interactive quiet times with God, practice journaling and studying God’s Word, and find other helpful resources for enriching your quiet time.

Listen to the longing of your heart.

Why Did the Religious Leaders Hate Jesus?

Why Did the Religious Leaders Hate Jesus?

Jesus is said to be the most loving and most compassionate person to ever walk the earth. Yet, He was also the most hated person to ever walk the earth. Even the religious leaders of His day hated him more than they hated the actual criminals. Now, why is that?

No one sits and wonders why society despises the wicked, the robber, the rapist, the murderer, etc. That’s completely understandable and justifiable. But I find it troubling when a morally upright person is deemed to be the worst criminal by those who claim to believe in God. What was it about Jesus that earned Him the punishment of crucifixion?

Jesus, the most hated man in history

The Religious Leaders of Jesus’ Time

The indignation of the religious leaders towards Jesus during His time is undeniable. They hated Him so much to the point that they arrested Him, tried Him, and brought Him to Pilate for a death sentence. But what made them so angry at Jesus that they wanted Him dead?

Below are several things about Jesus that outraged them. We will look at each one of them and evaluate if their anger was justified.

The Claims Jesus Made

Jesus made several outrageous claims about Himself. One of which was His claim that He was the Messiah. By claiming to be the long-awaited Messiah, He was saying that His authority outweighed their authority. The religious leaders did not believe any of Jesus’ claims and were angry at the people who believed.

The leaders accused the people of believing Jesus out of ignorance. They were also jealous of the attention that Jesus was getting from the people. The claims Jesus made caused the religious leaders of His day to be indignant towards Him.

John 8:58-59

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

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Jesus Threatened Their Religious System

When Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy in connection to their practices, the religious leaders saw Him as a threat. On two different occasions, Jesus entered the temple precincts and drove out those who were buying and selling (John 2:13-17).

Jesus angered the religious leaders with His claim of authority over the temple. Before Jesus came into the picture, the religious leaders were the respected authority in overall activities in the Temple. They could do all they wanted without anyone questioning their actions. Jesus’ arrival threatened their religious system and angered them to the point that they wanted Him dead.

Jesus Disrespected Their Traditions

One of the things that triggered the religious leaders’ hatred towards Jesus was His lack of respect for their religious traditions. Either Jesus ignored these traditions or He deliberately broke them. This is because He knew that these were man-made and not from God.

One common practice that Jesus violated which caused the most outrage was regarding the Sabbath. God had commanded the Sabbath to be a day of rest from labor. Yet the religious leaders added all kinds of restrictions which made it difficult and impossible to observe.

Jesus was grieved and angry at the way they had perverted the Sabbath observance. He asked the religious leaders several specific questions.

Mark 3:4-5

Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”

In the presence of the religious leaders, Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. This healing that Jesus performed on the Sabbath was more than the leaders could endure. Thus, they were convinced that Jesus had to die.

Mark 2:27, NKJV

Jesus Socialized With “Sinners”

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were filled with pride and arrogance. They were particularly proud of not mingling with the outcasts of society. It’s because they did not believe that the Messiah would be with such a crowd. A Pharisee went nuts at the sight of Jesus allowing a woman to wash His feet.

Luke 7:39

Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”

The religious leaders thought of themselves as righteous men who must never associate with sinners. Seeing Jesus socializing with these kinds of people infuriated the proud Pharisees and other religious leaders.

Jesus Performed Miracles

The miracles Jesus performed before them and many on-lookers also angered the religious Jews. After witnessing the healing of a demon-possessed man, some of the multitudes questioned if Jesus could be the Messiah. But the leaders accused Jesus of casting out demons by the power of a demon.

Matthew 12:22-24

Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind, and mute; and He healed him so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

The miracle was undeniable! The man who was not only deaf and mute but also demon-possessed was healed. But rather than believing Jesus to be the Messiah, these religious leaders attributed His power to the devil.

Since their official explanation for what Jesus did was that His power came from the devil, then He must die.

Jesus Threatened Their Lifestyle

For political reasons, the religious leaders wanted to kill Jesus. There were some ongoing tensions between the ruling Romans and the Jews. Thus, the thought of a Messiah who might lead an uprising against Rome was the last thing the people wanted.

John 11:49-51

And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” Now, this he did not say on his own authority, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation.

Caiaphas was afraid the Romans would intervene if Jesus gained the support of the people. This, among other reasons, is why he insisted that Jesus must die.

Conclusion

The religious leaders’ motive for wanting Jesus dead was not anything godly or righteous. They hated Jesus and wanted to put Him to death because of the above-mentioned reasons.

In the end, it was their pride, arrogance, and hypocrisy that caused them to bring Jesus before Pilate to be crucified. They did not want to hear the truth from God.

Jesus was hated by the world and did not receive Him (John 1:11). And He warned us that because they hated Him first, they would also hate us.

John 15:18-19

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

Many religious people today are easily triggered when a “redeemed” believer dares to point out their wrong beliefs and practices. They tend to become defensive and hostile when told the truth about salvation by grace and not by works.

But no matter how people with a different worldview despises your faith in Christ as your Savior, be patient with them. Keep trying to reach out to them and share God’s gift of salvation. Most of all, keep loving them and praying that they too would come to faith in our Lord Jesus.


Reference:

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ by Don Stewart

What was the world like into which Jesus came? What were the different political and religious divisions of the Holy Land?

This first section will examine the historical background of the world that saw the coming of Christ as well as some of the important characters that were prominent in the four gospels.

Part 2 The Life And Ministry Of Jesus This section examines some of the key elements of the public ministry of Jesus. Although His public life was for a period of a few short years, He has influenced the course of this world like none other.

In this first section, we will find out why He came to this world, His relationship to the Law of Moses, His miraculous deeds, and His relationship to Bible prophecy.

Part 3 The Betrayal, Trial, And Death Of Jesus The Last Days Of Christ This final section will look at some of the events of the end of the life of Jesus. We consider His betrayal and death. When Jesus was a child the first recorded thing that He uttered was that He must be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49).

On the cross, Jesus’ final words were, “It is finished.” Jesus announced to the world that He had completed His Father’s business.

Our God is a Mighty Fortress

Our God is a Mighty Fortress

Being a Christian does not mean we are free from troubles and problems. There will come a time when we would need a fortress, a place of refuge, to survive the storm. What a comfort to know that God is not only our refuge and strength. He is also always ready to help in times of trouble.

Bible Verse: Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Psalm 46 begins with the poet depending on God for help in difficult times and finding it. So, he could say these things with confidence:

  • God alone is my refuge!
  • God alone is my strength!
  • God is my ever-present help in trouble!

Be still and know that I am God

A Mighty Fortress is Our God

Martin Luther, a leader in the Reformation, wrote the powerful words, “A mighty fortress is our God a bulwark never failing. Our helper He, amid the flood, of mortal ills prevailing.”

Luther faced death threats from the pope for his opposing view that salvation is by grace through faith alone. He went into hiding for 11 months in Wartburg Castle. He was pressured from every side to back down but he stood firmly for the truth.

Whenever fear and discouragement struck, he would encourage his friend and co-worker to sing the 46th psalm. He wrote, “We sing this Psalm to the praise of God because God is with us. He powerfully and miraculously preserves and defends His church and His word, against all fanatical spirits, against the gates of hell, against the implacable hatred of the devil, and all the assaults of the world, the flesh, and sin.”

Whatever problems rage against us, know that God is our mighty fortress. God’s Spirit is the ever‑flowing river that sustains us and gives us gladness even while we’re under siege.

When Trouble Strikes the Godly

The word trouble describes people in tight places, in a corner, and unable to get out. But there is no problem (physical, emotional, or spiritual) that is too big for our God. If we will learn to trust God and take refuge in Him, we can tackle even the most difficult crisis with confidence. It’s because God is with us and we can confidently lean on Him alone for strength.

The psalmist mentions catastrophic and troubling global changes: storms, severe earthquakes, and wars (Psalm 46:2-3, 6, 9). Yet, he says all things are in the control of our sovereign Lord. The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge (Psalm 46:10-11).

Hebrews 11:35-38 talks about all the terrible trials that faithful Christians have to face. God does not always prevent bad things from happening to His people. But when trouble strikes, we don’t have to seek help somewhere else. God will enable us to face every storm of life head-on.

Be Fearless in God’s Refuge

In 2 Chronicles 32, Hezekiah led the men in digging a 1,777 feet long tunnel, passing to the Gihon Spring in Kidron Valley. The clear, cool water of the spring flowed inside the walls of Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah completely covered the spring to keep the enemy from finding it (2 Chronicles 32:1-6).

As the Assyrians stood in the sweltering heat every day, they kept waiting for the people of God to surrender. Inside the walls, the people did not panic or fear because they knew that God’s refuge would stand.

“Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8).

When the Assyrian officials threatened Jerusalem, Isaiah told the king, “Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me” (2 Kings 19:6). Inside the fortress, God provided for the Israelites’ needs by supporting them with a river.

In the same way, we need not be fearful when faced with a catastrophe. God is bigger than our problems. In the worst disaster that we can imagine, we can always have immediate comfort with God who is our refuge and strength.

God Never Fails

Some people place their trust in wealth, but money can never buy happiness. Others trust knowledge, but the smartest minds cannot agree on the simplest things. Some trust the military for protection, but there is no perfect peace. Still, others trust the company they work for to provide long-term security, but there is no such security.

God is our refuge and strength. We do not have to fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. When we search for answers, He will provide them. When we need shelter, He will provide it. When we need protection, He will provide it.

Believers in Christ have a very present help in trouble. Standing at the cross of Calvary is the Lamb of God with His nail-pierced hands extended. He is our Rock and our Fortress (Psalm 18:2; 31:3; 71:3). He will provide for us a refuge in the storms of life.

God is faithful and He never fails!

Conclusion

The Christian life is not a trouble-free life. Many false teachers may claim that it is God’s will for every believer in Jesus to enjoy a perfect life. But the Bible teaches no such thing. It’s not that God will exempt us from trouble but that God is our help in trouble.

Luther’s song ended with these words, “Let goods and kindred do, this mortal life also. The body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still; His kingdom is forever.”

When we feel as though life is falling on top of us, we need to run to God’s refuge. Inside we will find safety, security, and love in His shelter that will survive any storm.


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Recommended Resource:

God’s Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms by Ben Patterson

God's Prayer Book by Ben Patterson

There is no better place in all of Scripture than the Psalms to learn to be with God and see with the eyes of faith the face of the One who longs to form us fully in his image.

The psalms often stretch and perplex as they teach, but they open a divine window on prayer. How could it be otherwise?

The Psalms are God’s prayer book, and they teach us to talk to God in His own language.

Features meditations for more than 75 psalms, arranged in numerical order, Scripture, and topical indexes.

Each devotional includes the complete text of the Psalm(s) from the New Living Translation, a “devotional window” (brief meditative thoughts and/or background on the Psalm), a prayer route (one or more key phrases or verses from the Psalm, followed by suggested ways to use the Psalm in prayer).

The First and Second Resurrection

The First and Second Resurrection

Whether or not there’s just one (general) resurrection of the dead is one of the hotly debated end-time topics. Some Christians believe that everyone will be raised on the same day. But others say the resurrection from the dead will not occur at the same time.

But what does the Scripture say?

Resurrection at the Last Day

Christians who believe that the bodies of all men will be raised at the same time often quote John 11:24. As Martha weeps for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus assured her that he will rise again. To which Martha replied, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

John 11:24, NKJV

But do the words “last day” (or last hour) literally mean one literal day? Those who reject one general resurrection for everyone argue that it refers to an undetermined period of time. And it could even stretch over a thousand years.

Indeed, the Greek word translated “day” can have the meaning of an indeterminate amount of time. The Greek word for day in the Greek Lexicon of the New Testament has the following entry: An extended period like the Hebrew word yom.”

The Two Resurrections

There is a serious misconception that there will only be one resurrection. Nowhere in the Scriptures are we taught that! While it is true that all the dead will be raised and judged, neither the place, time, nor the judgments are the same.

Several passages speak of a separate resurrection of believers and unbelievers.

John says there will be two resurrections for two classes of people. One will be raised to “eternal life” while the other to a “resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29).

Luke 14:14 also speaks of a “resurrection of the just.” Since everyone will be resurrected, there has to be a “resurrection of the unjust.” This concept of a separate resurrection of the just and unjust is repeated by Paul in Acts 24:15 when he testified before Felix.

And John makes a clear distinction between the two in Revelation 20:4-5. He says, “… I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and the word of God. They lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.”

Here, we have the souls of the believing dead waiting for their own resurrection. This takes place after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth.


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The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus

The First Resurrection

The resurrection of the believing dead; those who did not worship the beast and receive his mark is called the first resurrection (Revelation 20:4-5).

The fact that there is a first resurrection certainly implies a second resurrection. Furthermore, those who participate in the “first resurrection” are called blessed. On the other hand, those who do not experience this first resurrection will experience the “second death.”

The Second Resurrection

We are told in the same passage that “the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were finished.”

Let it be made clear that there is at least a one thousand year interval between the First and the Second Resurrection. The people who are raised one thousand years later will be judged and cast into the lake of fire. We read this in Revelation 20:11-15.

If these thousand years are literal, and the two resurrections described are each literal resurrections, then this seems to make two separate resurrections necessary. Consequently, not everyone can be raised and judged at once.

The Order of the Resurrection

In general, the Bible speaks of two future resurrections: the First Resurrection and the Second Resurrection. The former is the resurrection of life while the latter is the resurrection of death.

Three groups of believers will have been raised at different times at the culmination of the First Resurrection. But before looking at these participants, we must note that Jesus Christ is the first to be raised.

Jesus Christ, the Firstfruits

Jesus Christ’s resurrection was the first in God’s program, to be followed by believers. The apostle Paul wrote about this in his letter to the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

“But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

Jesus is called the firstfruits of those who have died. Others will come after.

As Paul preached the gospel to the Jews and Gentiles, he said that Jesus the Messiah would suffer and die. He would be the first to rise from the dead (Acts 26:23); never to die again.

1 Corinthians 15:20

The Church Age Believers

The Rapture is when Christ comes in the air to “snatch away” the living believers and brings them to the Father’s house. But not many Christians realize that church-age believers who have died will also be resurrected.

“For the Lord, Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

It couldn’t be any clearer than this!

Two events will take place when Christ comes at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

  1. The resurrection of the dead in Christ
  2. The catching away of those who are alive and remain

Paul talks about this in greater detail in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed – in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Christians who are alive at this time will be “caught up” (raptured) to meet the Lord in the air. As they are being caught up, their bodies will be changed.

The Tribulation Saints

The tribulation saints are those who come to faith in Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation period. And they will be raised at the Second Coming of Christ.

Note: The Rapture and the Second Coming are not the same events. The former takes place before the 7-year Tribulation while the latter takes place at the end of the Tribulation.

Through the witnesses of the 144,000, multitudes of people will come to the saving knowledge of Christ. However, they will be killed because of their testimony of Christ and the Word of God. They would not worship the beast nor take his mark (Revelation 20:4-6).

These Tribulation saints will come to life just before Christ comes to earth to reign for one thousand years.

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The Old Testament Saints

Another group of believers who will be raised after the Tribulation period is over are the Old Testament saints.

We read this in Daniel 12:1-2 (NIV):

“At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then.

But at that time your people, everyone whose name is found written in the book, will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”

After the tribulation period is over, Jesus Christ returns. He will then resurrect the Old Testament saints.

Consequently, every believer who has died, from the time of Adam until the Second Coming of Christ, will have been resurrected by this time.

The Wicked, Unbelieving Dead

The resurrection of unbelievers will take place after the thousand-year reign of Christ upon the earth. All the unbelieving dead who have ever lived will be resurrected and judged at this time.

This is the Second and Final resurrection that comes at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Here, Jesus will sit in the righteous judgment of all who refused to acknowledge His Messiahship and Saviourhood. From every part of the earth, the bodies of the wicked dead are raised to receive their final sentence. God will banish them permanently from His presence and they will suffer eternal punishment in the lake of fire.

Closing Words

The Bible teaches that everyone who has ever died will eventually be raised from the dead.

Job 19:25-26 (NIV) says, “I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh, I will see God.”

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the confirmation of the resurrection of the human body and future judgment.

“And if Christ has not been raised … those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:17-19).

If you die in your sins, the judgment is sure. So, if you do not have a relationship with God through Christ, would you accept His gift of salvation today? Confess that you are a sinner and trust Jesus to save you.


Reference: Resurrection and Judgment by Don Stewart

Recommended Resource:

What Happens After Life?: 21 Amazing Revelations About Heaven and Hell by Ron Rhodes

What Happens After Life?: 21 Amazing Revelations About Heaven and Hell by Ron Rhodes

Do you wonder what happens when you die? If so, you’ll love these short, inspirational explanations of the Bible’s most encouraging teachings about heaven.

Trusted Bible teacher Ron Rhodes combines his rock-solid scriptural insight with illustrations from leaders throughout church history.

Each chapter is short enough to read in one sitting and zeroes in on a single encouraging truth. You will quickly find your fears and doubts replaced with confidence in these truths:

  • Death is a transition into a wonderful life, not a fearful end.
  • You will enjoy eternity in a wonderful new body.
  • You will be reunited with Christian loved ones.
  • Sin, sorrow, sickness, and pain will be no more.
  • Best of all, you will enjoy face-to-face fellowship with God.

Bypassing philosophical arguments and contentious debates, this reassuring look at the clear teaching of the Bible will empower you to embrace the future with hope and joy.

How Do I Know I’m Going to Heaven?

How Do I Know I’m Going to Heaven?

The Bible says that after we die, we will spend eternity in one of two places: heaven or hell. But can anyone be certain where they’re going? Do you know if you’re going to heaven or hell?

We all want to know exactly where we are going after we die, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want to know where they will be spending eternity? But can we really know? The answer is yes!

The Word of God makes it clear that we can indeed know where we will go after this life is over.

The Choice is Ours to Make

Going to heaven or hell is a choice each of us has to make.

Man is destined to hell because of sin. But God so loved the world that He sacrificed His only Son to redeem us. Jesus suffered and died so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Notice that one still needs to trust in Jesus to be saved from eternal condemnation in hell. Jesus’ sacrificial death has opened the way to heaven for everyone. However, this does not mean everyone automatically goes to heaven when they die. We can either accept God’s promise of eternal life or reject it.

Choose Life Not Death

Eventually, the choice we make in this life will determine where we will spend eternity.

If you haven’t accepted God’s gift, would you do so today and be assured of spending eternity in heaven with God? 2 Corinthians 6:2 says, “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

We Can Know Our Final Destination

If we place our faith in the Lord, we can know that we will go to heaven when we die. In 1 John 5:12, we read God’s promise.

“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”

We can know that we have eternal life if we put out faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. By the way, we need to know that eternal life is something that belongs to believers only. While it’s true that unbelievers will exist for eternity, they will not have eternal life.

Those who willfully reject God will be eternally separated from God; they will be in a state of eternal death. This is in direct contrast to the future of those who have trusted the God of the Bible.

The Scripture also says that “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). The moment we confessed Jesus as our Savior and Lord, God gave us the right to become His children (John 1:12).

And if we are God’s children, we can know for sure that we are going to heaven when we die.

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Believers Already Have Eternal Life

Christians know they have eternal life because God has promised it in His Word. But eternal life is not something believers will possess only in the future. We discover that we have eternal life now.

Jesus said this in John 5:24 (NIV).

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”

We have already gone from death to life.

Contrary to what some teach and believe, we can get to enjoy eternal life the moment we trusted in Jesus. We don’t have to wait for “eternal life” because it’s not something that starts when we die. The focus of eternal life is not on our future, but on our current standing in Christ.

Eternal life is ours right now!

Eternal Life is Knowing God

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He prayed to God the Father on His way to the Garden of Gethsemane.

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

What is Eternal Life

Here, Jesus defines eternal life for us. Eternal life is knowing God; it’s a relationship with God the Father through the Son, Jesus Christ. The great news is that it never ends; it is indeed eternal!

Do you know the only true God? Do you have a relationship with the Father through His Son? Enjoy eternal life now and be assured of going to heaven by accepting God’s gift of salvation.

Know the Person You Trust

The apostle Paul said he knew whom he had trusted or believed in (2 Timothy 1:12).

“For this reason, I also suffer these things. Nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

We too can know in whom we have believed. Christians are assured of going to heaven because they can trust in the promises of Christ. Our God who promised is faithful, even when at times we’re not.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).

As evident in the New Testament, we can have eternal life by trusting Christ as Savior. The moment we professed our faith in Him, we can be sure that we are going to heaven.

Final Words

Death is real, so are heaven and hell. And the Bible is very clear of who gets to enter heaven; it is limited to those who have trusted in Jesus as their Savior.

Jesus said there is only one way to reach the one God who is in heaven; it is through Him and Him alone (John 14:6).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Nobody gets to heaven by their good works. Contrary to what many people think, a person does not go to heaven because they’re good. First of all, no one is good enough (Romans 3:10; Psalm 14:1-3).

Also, no one is kept out of heaven because they’re bad. Whoever gets to heaven goes there because of God’s grace, not their own good deeds (Ephesians 2:8-9).

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Our salvation from sin, our eventual entrance into heaven, is a “gift” from God. Have you accepted God’s gift?


Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a commission when you use any links on this page to make a purchase, but at no additional cost to you.

Recommended Resource:

Heaven: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything the Bible Says About Our Eternal Home by Randy Alcorn

Heaven: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything the Bible Says About Our Eternal Home by Randy Alcorn We all have questions about what Heaven will be like, and after twenty-five years of extensive research, Dr. Randy Alcorn has the answers.

In the most comprehensive and definitive book on Heaven to date, Randy invites you to picture Heaven the way Scripture describes it―a bright, vibrant, and physical New Earth, free from sin, suffering, and death, and brimming with Christ’s presence, wondrous natural beauty, and the richness of human culture as God intended it.

This is a book about real people with real bodies enjoying close relationships with God and each other, eating, drinking, working, playing, traveling, worshiping, and discovering a New Earth. Earth as God created it. Earth as he intended it to be.

The next time you hear someone say, “We can’t begin to image what Heaven will be like,” you’ll be able to tell them, “I can.”