His Glory and His Word

May 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Mark | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It is often said that of all the Israelites who were over 20 years old when they left Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb survived the wilderness wandering and entered into Canaan. However, we might add Moses to that list, as well, for, although he did not make it there during his earthly lifetime, he does appear there in the New Testament:

And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.

Mark 9:2-4

Jesus demonstrated His glory and Deity on the mount of transfiguration. In a common Biblical formula, the demonstration of God’s glory was closely followed by the proclamation of God’s Word.

And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

Mark 9:7

“Hear Him,” says the Father of the Son. God’s two greatest revelations of Himself are Jesus’s incarnation and His Word.

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

Mark 9:5

Peter and the Disciples could not stay on the mount of transfiguration, reveling in the glory. They needed to go down and get busy, motivated by what they had seen and heard. Have you been motivated by the revelation of God’s glory in your life? Can you give a testimony of your conversion experience and tell people why you believe what you believe? If so, does your manner of living demonstrate your testimony? If you told your acquaintances, “I believe that Jesus is God, and I know that He paid the price for my sins and has given me eternal life,” would they say, “Hmm, I sure couldn’t tell you believed that,” or would they say, “Ohhhh, that explains why you act that way – why you care for others, why you pray, why you carry a Bible, why you go to church…”?

Later on in Mark Chapter 9 we see that Jesus restored a demon-possessed child to his father. This reminds us that we, too, should have a ministry of restoring children to their fathers. The Holy Spirit probably had Mark highlight Jesus’s ministry to children in his Gospel because “child” and “servant” were the same words in Aramaic.

And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Mark 9:36-37

The world says it is an honor to have others serving you. Jesus says it is an honor to be serving others.

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Mark 9:35

No one can be neutral about Jesus Christ

And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.

Mark 9:38-40

As Christians we can be purified by God’s controlled fires in this life, but those who reject
Jesus will be burned by the fire of God’s wrath forever.

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Mark 9:47-50

Catechism Question 19

March 18, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Children's Bible Catechism, Hebrews | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Question 19: Where is Jesus now?
Answer: He is in Heaven with God the Father.
Prove it.

But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Hebrews 10:12

It is important for children to believe that, after Jesus died and rose from the grave, He showed Himself alive to many witnesses, and then ascended up to Heaven – still fully God, but also still fully human, in His resurrected and glorified body.

It is also important to explain the significance of Jesus’s position at God’s right hand, equally enthroned with God the Father, having His rightful place as Judge and Ruler.

With the God-Man as our Savior, Lord, elder Brother, and Father, we have full assurance of acceptance with God, access to Him in prayer, and eternal life in His loving and benevolent presence.

Other key verses to know:

Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Romans 8:34

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

I Peter 3:22

Winning the Argument that Christ is Better

March 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Hebrews | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Book of Hebrews was authored by the Holy Spirit, but there are vastly differing opinions over which human instrument He used to do so. Personally, I believe it was the Apostle Paul. It was written to convince the Hebrews (Jewish Christians) of the superiority of Jesus. A key phrase is “a better…” The Lord Jesus is “better” than all the attempts at righteousness in the Jewish religion.

Another one of the book’s main themes is the encouragement to draw near – draw nigh – to God.

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Hebrews 7:19

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.

Hebrews 10:22

We don’t have to chase God all over the country. As Christians, we can draw near to Him any time we want. When Jesus spoke to His disciples about the little children, He said, “Suffer them to come unto Me.”

In Hebrews Chapter 1 we see that Christ is better than the prophets of God who came before Christ’s birth.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Hebrews 1:1-2

The prophets told people about how God created everything, but Christ was there when it was created.

Second, Christ is better than the angels.

Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

Hebrews 1:4-5

The angels are sometimes called the sons of God, but they are created beings, and the created is not to be worshiped. Only the Creator is to be worshiped.

The angels serve Jesus, and they serve Christians, too.

Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Hebrews 1:14

How does knowing that Christ is better than the prophets and better than the angels convince us to draw near to Him? It’s step one of an argument. How did the Hebrews know that they were supposed to have priests and a high priest and altars and sacrifices and a tabernacle and sin offerings and blood sacrifices? God told them (His Word). But through what medium? His prophets. They delivered the Law – including the ceremonies of their religion. But if Christ was greater than the prophets, then the people needed to learn from Him.

Christ did not really come with a revelation of following a by-the-numbers set of rules and regulations. He came with principles like Grace and Love. The angels and the prophets helped deliver the Law, which was God’s revelation of His nature to the people, but Christ is enthroned in glory. He is seated at God’s right hand.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Hebrews 1:3-4

Christ is better than the prophets because He is God. He is better than the angels because they were created and He is the Creator.

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Hebrews 1:8

The cults don’t like this, but it is still true. “The Son” is a more excellent name. Jesus is God, and He has been forever. He was not “born” as touching His Deity. However, God the Father has especially honored Him as Son.

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Hebrews 1:8-9

Beware Flaky Firmness

January 20, 2015 at 4:03 pm | Posted in Biblical Walking, The Fives | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

In the days when Christ Jesus walked in Jerusalem there was, near the sheep gate of the city, a pool called Bethesda. People with diseases, injuries, paralysis, and other maladies came to this pool to wait for the water to be stirred. There was a belief that an angel came periodically, and swirled the waters with healing power, but only the first one into the pool would receive the healing. One of the people there was a man who had been disabled for a long time, and he caught the attention of Jesus:

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

John 5:5

The Bible says that the man had an “infirmity,” which means that he lacked “firmness” or strength in his body. Either through inability, or through a secret fear that healing would entail completely changing the way he had lived for 38 years, he had never been the first one into the water.

Jesus ignored the pool and healed the man with a simple verbal command: “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” With that display of divine power, the Lord vanished into the crowd. The Jewish leaders, who were opposed to the ministry of Christ, found the man and chastised him for carrying his bed on the Sabbath.

Later, Jesus saw the man in the Temple, and said:

… Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

John 5:14

In doing so, Christ reminded the man that the “firmness” he had been given by God must be spiritual and moral firmness to match his physical firmness. Each and every one of us came into this world stricken with the infirmity of sin. We had no power to walk with the Lord, or to love or glorify God on our own. However, when Christ saves a sinner, and heals his soul, He does not do so merely for our happiness. He does it so that we have the ability and the inclination to now serve Him righteously. We must remember not to be “flaky” Christians, grateful one day and bitter the next, faithful one day and fearful the next, active one day and complacent the next. The Lord wants our “firmness” to be a constant victorious reminder of our former infirmity and glorious healing.

The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.

John 5:15

Catechism Question 15

December 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Children's Bible Catechism | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Question 14: What has God done for you so you can have eternal life?
Answer: He sent his Son.
Prove it.

John 3:16

Question 15: What did Jesus do while He was here on earth?
Answer: He lived a perfect, sinless life.
Prove it.

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

John 8:29

Jesus’s sinless life even included His childhood. It is difficult for us to imagine going a day or even part of a day without sinning egregiously. Jesus, unlike us, lived every moment of every second of every minute of every hour of every day of His entire earthly life without ever committing even a single solitary act of sinful omission or commission in thought, word, or deed!

This is true in spite of the fact that Jesus was fully human, and was tempted in every respect just like we are. It means, though, that He never gave in to any temptation.

Depending upon the age and maturity of your child, you can get into the somewhat controversial doctrine known as the “impeccability of Christ,” which deals with the question of whether or not it was possible for Christ, in His humanity, to sin. The virgin birth, as it relates to Christ’s full humanity without the inheritance of Adam’s fallen nature, can be touched upon here, as well, depending on age and discretion.

Other verses to consider:

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.

Hebrews 4:15

Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

John 8:46

The Certainty of Christ’s Deity

October 26, 2012 at 9:12 am | Posted in Hebrews, Selected Psalms | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In a previous post we looked at Psalm 102 and saw that there are some certain things in an uncertain world:
The Promises of God
The Person of God

Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

Psalm 102:25-27

God was here before everything, and He will be here after everything. Though everything He has made has changed or will change, He Himself never has and never will.

And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

Hebrews 1:10-12

This proves conclusively that Jesus did not “become” God, and that He has always been God. That’s why Psalm 102 is considered to be a Messianic Psalm.

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Hebrews 1:13

The answer is: none. Only to Jesus Christ has God said this, because Jesus Christ is not a created being. He is God the Son, and though He was made like unto us, so that He might be a greater High Priest in His identification with our humanity, He is God and He is unlike us in His immutability. Therefore, Jesus Christ is the One True Certainty in a world full of uncertainty.

It’s Horrible to Be a Mormon

August 8, 2012 at 10:04 am | Posted in Social Media Shares and Mass Emails | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

God is eternal, self-existent, perfect, and immutable. (Psalm 90:2, 102:25-27) But Mormons belong to an organization that worships a false god who used to be a man from another planet.

There is one God and He is triune. (One God in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). (Deuteronomy 4:35; Isaiah 43:10; James 2:19; Matthew 28:19) But Mormons belong to an organization that worships three distinct false gods, with the potential for thousands more false gods.

God opposes the lie that human beings can become gods. (Genesis 3; Acts 12:21-23) But Mormons belong to an organization that teaches the lie that human beings can, and should, attain godhood.

Jesus is, and always has been, God. In His Incarnation, He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin, Mary. (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12, 13:8; Matthew 1:20) But Mormons belong to an organization that worships a false Jesus who is supposed to have been born as a “spirit-child” of a heavenly father and heavenly mother, and who then “progressed” to deity. At times this organization has taught that Mary conceived Jesus as a result of physical relations with God the Father.

The true Christ – Jesus, the eternal Son of God – offers salvation by the grace of God through faith alone to all who believe the Gospel and trust in Him. Those who reject the true Christ of the Holy Bible will not go to Heaven to be with God for all eternity. Instead, they will be cast into the lake of fire forever. (John 3:15-16; Romans 3:22-24; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 14:1-3; Revelation 21:3-7, 20:11-15; Galatians 1:8-9) But Mormons belong to an organization that teaches that almost everyone will go to some sort of “heavenly” or “celestial” kingdom, and that God’s grace and our own good works are necessary for salvation. “We do our best, and Jesus does the rest” is one of their catchphrases.

By denying the truth of the Bible, and by accepting the lies of wicked men like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, Mormons are either willful idolators or damnably deceived. Mormonism is at best an organized heresy and at worst a Satanic cult. It is truly horrible to be a Mormon, but there is hope in the Truth. Mormons need to reject the false god they have concocted and trust in the Christ of the Bible.

(This post is in response to a statement made by former Mormon leader Gordon Hinckley when he appeared on Larry King a few years ago, and made a number of disingenuous statements about what Mormons are supposed to believe. In answer to Larry’s question, “It’s hard to be Mormon, isn’t it?” Hinckley stated, “It’s wonderful to be a Mormon.” That statement, transposed over a photo of Hinckley, has been shared on social media sites.)

What Is God Like?

December 18, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Posted in Bible Studies, Exodus | 28 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Exodus 3:13-14

Was Moses really concerned about what name he would give to God before the people? He told God, “They shall say to me, ‘What is His name.’ What shall I say unto them?” But God had already told him in Exodus 3:6: “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.”

Moses had several questions – and several excuses – but what he was really asking is revealed partially by what he asked about himself in Exodus 3:11: “And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

Moses wanted to know, “Who am I? What am I like?” So, when he asked God, “What shall I tell them when they ask me Your name,” what he was really asking God was, “What are You like? How can I describe You? To what can I compare You? What are You really like?”

The Bible has many names for God: Elohim, El Shaddai, El Elyon, El Olam, Yahweh (YHWH), Yahweh Jireh, Yahweh Nissi, Yahweh Shalom, Yahweh Sabbaoth, Yahweh Maccaddeshcem, Yahweh Ro’I, Yahweh Tsidken, Yahweh Shammah, Yahweh Elohim Israel, Adonai, Theos, Kurios, Despotes, Father, just to name a few. God cannot be fully described by men as to Who He is, so we are given to know Him by what He does. There are many names that describe a part of what God is, but what people throughout Scripture have asked is, “God, what are You really like?”

Micah, Micaiah, Michal, Michael are all Bible names that ask the rhetorical question: “Who is like God?” This question points out the real problem with explaining what God is really like: As several well-known theologians and preachers have pointed out: There is no one and no thing to which to compare Him. I know we’ve all been told, as privileged people, that we’re “special,” but the fact is, as human beings, there are many, many ways in which we are all similar to each other. But God had to say “I AM” because He could point to no one outside of Himself and say, “He is like Me” or “She is like Me,” or “I am like that.” The truth is: He is like nothing else at all.

When we speak of the problem of making a comparison concerning God, we begin to understand the true concept of God’s holiness. Of all the attributes which make up the glory of God, His holiness may be the most significant – especially when it comes to trying to grasp at His true nature – what He is like. The angels near the throne of God do not cry out love, love, love, or righteous, righteous, righteous, or grace, grace, grace, or even mighty, mighty, mighty, although all of these would be true. What they cry out is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3). The name for God’s Spirit is not the Peace Spirit, or the Joy Spirit, or even the Faith Spirit, although He is a Spirit of peace, joy, and faith. His name is the Holy Spirit.

There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

I Samuel 2:2

For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

Isaiah 43:3

God is holy because of His complete uniqueness, and because in Him is no sin. One of the reasons that, throughout Scripture, the holiness of God is so tied into the idea of sinlessness or freedom from sin, is that a sinful world’s most obvious difference between us and God is that we sin, and He does not.

Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

Exodus 15:11

God has no beginning and no end. He is all-powerful, omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign, timeless, providential. As one well-known preacher says, God is not like us, only wiser, or more powerful, or more righteous – He is not LIKE us at all!

God told Moses to tell the people that God is “I AM THAT I AM,” and for something like 1500 years people asked, “Who is like God?” Then, Jesus of Nazareth came on the scene – a sinless humble obeyer of God’s Word. Jesus is our best look at what God is really like. It was as if God answered and said, “You want to know who is like Me? He is like Me – now learn His ways, and follow Him – He will show you what I am really like” (Matthew 11:27).

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 1:17-18 (See John 14:7-10.)

Learning what God is really like will be an eternal undertaking – but while we are here on earth we must learn about the Father by walking with, talking with, emulating, worshipping, and magnifying His Son.


Entries and comments feeds.