Category: The Good News


“You shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” Leviticus 20:23

Biblically speaking, Jesus’ resurrection occurred on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover meal. So why is it that some years “Easter” occurs before the Passover?

In 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea voted to hold “Easter” on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal (Spring) equinox (the day when sunlight is equal on both hemispheres of the earth; aka the first day of spring. After this point, days get longer and nights shorter.)

Choosing this pattern for dating Jesus’ resurrection is curious at best. Why did those overseen by Constantine (the Roman Emperor) ignore the actual pattern (the Sunday after the Passover meal) established by the Lord? Why did they adopt a pattern practiced by paganism for centuries? And does it even matter?

It only matters if we first understand what paganism, witchcraft, occultism, etc. has wholeheartedly embraced for centuries prior to Jesus’ resurrection regarding Easter. A simple search online will reveal the many deceptive pagan connections between rabbits, eggs, the word and timing of Easter and false, fertility goddess worship.

One brief example-

“Dating Easter in conjunction with the vernal equinox and full moon had nothing to do with the biblical account of Christ’s resurrection or the Passover. It was pagan practices, such as the spring fertility goddess rituals that the Catholic Church “absorbed” and attempted to Christianize, that resulted in Easter’s being linked to the vernal equinox and the full moon. The only thing that is biblical regarding when Easter is now observed is the fact that Easter is always on a Sunday. However, this is not the case. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21 in 2008, the first day of spring). (Got Questions)

Does it matter whether or not Christians embrace the world’s rituals? I believe the answer is yes. Jesus didn’t lay eggs (nor do rabbits for that matter). He did, however, tragically suffer His Heavenly Father’s spiritual and eternal wrath while He was upon the cross. He chose to obey His Father wholeheartedly, taking the penalty we deserve. “You [LORD] shall make His soul an offering for sin…” Isaiah 53:10. Jesus paid the price in full and then willingly laid down His life only to triumphantly raise to life again three days later just like He said He would. Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophesies all to prove that He is the very Christ. He made the truth absolutely and abundantly clear so not to add to all the confusion surrounding Him. 

Am I saying we should boycott church on “Easter” Sunday?  That would be ridiculous! But should we “dress” and “dance” like the world just because it’s popular and pleasing to the eyes?  God forbid!

Resurrection Sunday is the exclamation point, the heart of God’s Gospel, yet too often the waters are muddied and lines blurred within the Church. We tell others to believe God’s Word, but then behave like world when practicing its high days. Sadly, adults are many times motivated to follow the world’s lead simply because it makes our children happy. But Jesus didn’t say do whatever makes our children temporarily excited. He said, “Let the children come to Me, and forbid them not” Matthew 19:14. This generation is confused enough as it is. They are literally inundated with the world’s Antichrist messages carefully, creatively, and intentionally force fed to them through videos, games, toys, TV, movies, music, books, school, friends… and more and more, even today’s Christianity.

Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed. Water down, confuse, and corrupt from the inside out. Why should we, the body of Christ, muddy the waters? Why blur the lines? Why add confusion to an already overly confused generation?

Why not present a different message? Why not lovingly speak the truth? Why not simply preach Christ and Him crucified? Why not be separate? Why not shine forth the pure light of Jesus? Why not offer the world the pure water of the Word?

Why not?

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How interesting it is that a person could spend his entire life time and all the riches in the world studying creation and the philosophies surrounding him, and in the end still have absolutely nothing. Sadly, many have discovered this truth first hand.

Only when we realize the futility and deception of pursuing earthly wisdom, only when we understand the eternal weight of heavenly wisdom, will we finally begin to understand. As we follow the waters up stream to their source, we will not only find the fountain head, we will discover the throne. 

Lest we forget, mankind was not created to simply attain knowledge and exercise wisdom. We were created to understand and know the all wise God through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Only when we bow our heart’s knees at Jesus’ throne, casting our handmade crowns at His feet, will we truly begin to see.

“Where shall [heavenly] wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man knows not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. The depth says, It is not in me: and the sea says, It is not with me. It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. 

Where then comes wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? 

Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. 

God understands the way thereof, and He knows the place thereof. 

For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven; to make the weight for the winds; and He weighs the waters by measure. When He made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: then did He see it, and declare it; He prepared it, yea, and searched it out. 

And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:12-28

The Christmas season is an excellent time of year to examine our hearts. Too often, even for the born again believer, there is a drifting and stagnation that occurs within our souls. Maybe joy to the world has been replaced with an attempt to find “joy” from the world. For others, the trials of this sinful planet have shaken the earth beneath their feet, causing a loss of God’s true peace.

The path on this side of eternity is neither smooth nor comfortable. For many, it is filled with more valleys than peeks and over time those valleys may eclipse the light of Christ. The weary soul may be tempted to turn inward instead of upward for its consolation. Complacency and self-preservation may set in in an effort to keep from traversing more of this world’s rugged paths.

Sadly, while attempting to keep from engaging in difficulties, we are actually robbing our Lord from the very work He seeks to do. (1 Peter 1:6-9) It’s the flesh that longs for this present darkness. It longs for worldly pleasure and comfort and often, if not filled daily with God’s Word, we heed the beckoning cries of the old man instead of the clarion call of our precious Savior. And over time the ways of God can be ever so slowly replaced with the things of this temporal sphere.

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” isn’t simply a cute call from a mystical figure clothed in scarlet. It’s really more of a reminder that the world is beckoning, pressing in, ever desirous to “bless” mankind with the temporal trinkets that can only offer, at best, distraction and momentary satisfaction.

Instead of “Ho! Ho! Ho!”, let us consider true faith, hope, and love.

FAITH– The Lord often reminds the born again believer to be sanctified by His Word, to daily take up our cross, denying ourselves, and following Jesus. (John 17:17, Matthew 16:24) He teaches us to carefully examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) and to diligently keep in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Only then can the mettle of our faith be tested and trusted. The house on the rock stands firm! True faith becomes substantive as we reject the often not so subtle attempts of the world to entice our focus away from Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. The Lord reminds us in Hebrews 12, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” Hebrews 12:1-2.

HOPEWherever faith resides is where hope is derived. Biblical hope is not wishing upon a star, hoping that we can somehow manipulate the Creator of the universe to give us what we want. True hope is rooted and ground in the absolute assurance of God’s faithfulness and the reliability and sufficiency of His Word. As the hymn goes, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” God’s Word is true from the beginning and forever settled in Heaven. The world’s promises and treasures have nothing on this. We will be constantly distracted, disappointed, and disgusted if we seek to place our hope in mankind and this world’s ungodly economy of life. And it seems that most recognize it, yet many are simply unwilling to acknowledge the truth.

True hope is a continual theme throughout God’s Word.

“[The Lord] delights not in the strength of the horse: He takes not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy” Psalm 147:10-11.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” Romans 15:13.

“For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” Galatians 5:5

Not only does God fill us with steadfast hope (assurance), He, Himself, is our hope. “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability [permanence] of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which enters into that within the veil; where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus…” Hebrews 6:17-20. Jesus doesn’t merely provide eternal hope. He is our eternal hope!

LOVE– It’s easy to let our love grow cold. Even the Ephesians were indicted by Jesus for this and it’s no small matter. It really is the heart of everything. The world constantly barrages us, all with one simple goal, to draw our hearts away from Jesus and His Word. The enemy is smart. He knows he doesn’t have to turn away all our love in one fail swoop. A little pull here and a slight tug there will do. He knows that’s all it takes. Over time even a small compromise has the potential to compound and left unchecked, we’ll eventually find ourselves 180 degrees from eternity. That’s why the Ephesians were commanded to repent and return quickly to their first love. (Revelation 2:1-5). True love is the key! That’s why Jesus said the entire law and prophets hang on two laws- Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as you already love yourself. (Deuteronomy 6:5, Mark 12:30)

Contrary to the world, the Christian’s love is neither self-induced nor self-centered. It flows from the God who first loved us; the God who is love! While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! Amazing love, how can it be that You, my King, would die for me!

All that the world offers, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life might be alluring, especially during a season filled to overflowing with nostalgia and commercialism, yet it cannot begin to hold a flame to the brilliance and splendor of our King!

Whether our hearts have grown cold through trials, persecutions, or the pleasures of this world, let us repent from heeding this world’s beckoning to preserve the flesh and all its ornaments. Instead, let us make way for the real King. May we fill our hearts and minds with the true faith, steadfast hope, and everlasting love of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Only then will we be able to joyfully join in the angel chorus, praising God and giving Him all the glory. While we’re on this sullied soil, we can know assuredly that true and eternal peace only comes though Jesus Christ, the true light of the world!

Merry CHRISTmas!

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and [the shepherds] were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord… And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” Luke 2:9-14.

“Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” 1 Peter 1:6-9.

Jesus Christ: A Brief List of Fulfilled Old Testament Messianic Prophecies

PROPHECY AS PROOF

ALL of the prophecies below were made hundreds, some thousands, of years before Jesus Christ was born. Looking in the face of how He literally fulfilled them all (plus hundreds more), it is an impossibility that He is not Messiah, Savior of the world. The ONLY person… past, present or future… who could fulfill all these prophecies is Jesus Christ. 

In Isaiah 46, the Lord reminded the prophet, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done…” Isaiah 46:9-10.

Jesus said to His disciples, clearly pointing back to what He had said to Isaiah several hundred years before, “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, you may believe that I am.” John 13:19 (Remember, the “He” at the end of verse 19 is in italics, meaning it was not in the original. So Jesus was really saying the I AM, the One true God of the Old Testament, was the One who became flesh and was at that very moment speaking to the disciples.)

The 100% accurate and fulfilled prophecies throughout the Bible are THE great internal proof that it alone is God’s book to mankind. Regardless of what many of today’s popular preachers are touting, may we soberly seek to understand the importance of prophecy in God’s Word.

For an excellent audio teaching on prophecy as the great proof of God’s Word, go to: Bible Prophecy Proof Jesus is The Christ, Jewish Messiah, God in The Flesh – TheBereanCall.org (Dave Hunt)

Fulfilled Prophecy Tenakh/Hebrew Scripture New Testament
His pre-existence Micah 5:2 John 1:1, 14
Born of the seed of a woman Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:18
Of the seed of Abraham Genesis 12:3 Matthew 1:1-16
All nations blessed by Abraham’s seed Genesis 12:3 Matthew 8:5, 10
God would provide Himself a Lamb as an offering Genesis 22:8 John 1:29
From the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Matthew 1:1-3
Heir to the throne of David Isaiah 9:6-7 Matthew 1:1
Called “The mighty God, The everlasting Father” Isaiah 9:6 Matthew 1:23
Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1
Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18
His name called Immanuel, “God with us” Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23
Declared to be the Son of God Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17
His messenger before Him in spirit of Elijah Malachi 4:5-6 Luke 1:17
Preceded by a messenger to prepare His way Malachi 3:1 Matthew 11:7-11
Messenger crying “Prepare ye the way of the Lord” Isaiah 40:3 Matthew 3:3
Would be a Prophet of the children of Israel Deuteronomy 18:15 Matthew 2:15
Called out of Egypt Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:15
Slaughter of the children Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew2:18
Would be a Nazarene Judges 13:5; Amos 2:11;
Lam. 4:7
Matthew 2:23
Brought light to Zabulon and Nephthalm, Galilee of the Gentiles Isaiah 9:1-2 Matthew 4:15
Presented with gifts Psalm 72:10 Matthew 2:1, 11
Rejected by His own Isaiah 53:3 Matthew 21:42; Mark 8:31, 12:10; Luke 9:22, 17:25
He is the stone which the builders rejected which became the headstone Psalm 118:22-23; Isaiah 28:16 Matthew 21:42; I Peter 2:7
A stone of stumbling to Israel Isaiah 8:14-15 I Peter 2:8
He entered Jerusalem as a king
riding on an ass
Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:5
Betrayed by a friend Psalms 41:9 John 13:21
Sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:15; Luke 22:5
The 30 pieces of silver given for the potter’s field Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 27:9-10
The 30 pieces of silver thrown in the temple Zechariah 11:13 Matthew 27:5
Forsaken by His disciples Zechariah 13:7 Matthew 26:56
Accused by false witnesses Psalm 35:11 Matthew 26:60
Silent to accusations Isaiah 53:7 Matthew 27:14
Heal blind/deaf/lame/dumb Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 29:18 Matthew 11:5
Preached to the poor/brokenhearted/captives Isaiah 61:1 Matthew 11:5
Came to bring a sword, not peace Micah 7:6 Matthew 10:34-35
He bore our sickness Isaiah 53:4 Matthew 8:16-17
Spat upon, smitten and scourged Isaiah 50:6, 53:5 Matthew 27:26, 30
Smitten on the cheek Micah 5:1 Matthew 27:30
Hated without a cause Psalm 35:19 Matthew 27:23
The sacrificial lamb Isaiah 53:5 John 1:29
Given for a covenant Isaiah 42:6; Jeremiah 31:31-34 Romans 11:27/Galatians 3:17, 4:24/Hebrews 8:6, 8, 10; 10:16, 29; 12:24; 13:20
Would not strive or cry Isaiah 42:2-3 Mark 7:36
People would hear not and see not Isaiah 6:9-10 Matthew 13:14-15
People trust in traditions of men Isaiah 29:13 Matthew 15:9
People give God lip service Isaiah 29:13 Matthew 15:8
God delights in Him Isaiah 42:1 Matthew 3:17, 17:5
Wounded for our sins Isaiah 53:5 John 6:51
He bore the sins of many Isaiah 53:10-12 Mark 10:45
Messiah not killed for Himself Daniel 9:26 Matthew 20:28
Gentiles flock to Him Isaiah 55:5, 60:3, 65:1; Malachi 1:11;
II Samuel 22:44-45; Psalm 2:7-8
Matthew 8:10
Crucified with criminals Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:35
His body was pierced Zechariah 12:10; Ps. 22:16 John 20:25, 27
Thirsty during execution Psalm 22:15 John 19:28
Given vinegar and gall for thirst Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34
Soldiers gambled for his garment Psalm 22:18 Matthew 27:35
People mocked, “He trusted in God, let Him deliver him!” Psalm 22:7-8 Matthew 27:43
People sat there looking at Him Psalm 22:17 Matthew 27:36
Cried, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46
Darkness over the land Amos 8:9 Matthew 27:45
No bones broken Psalm 34:20, Numbers 9:12 John 19:33-36
Side pierced Zechariah 12:10 John 19:34
Buried with the rich Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57, 60
Resurrected from the dead Psalm 16:10-11; 49:15 Mark 16:6
Priest after the order of Melchizedek Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6; 6:20; 7:15-17
Ascended to right hand of God Psalm 68:18 Luke 24:51
LORD said unto Him, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool Psalm 110:1 Matt 22:44; Mark 12:36;, 16:19; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Hebrews 1:13
His coming glory Malachi 3:2-3 Luke 3:17

314 Messianic Prophecies

  1. Genesis 3:15…         He will bruise Satan’s head… Hebrews 2:14, 1 John 3:18
  2. Genesis 5:24…        The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated… Mark 6:19
  3. Genesis 9:26,27…    The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem… Luke 3:36
  4. Genesis 12:3…        As Abraham’s seed, will bless all nations… Acts 3:25,26
  5. Genesis 12:7…        The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed… Galatians 3:16
  6. Genesis 14:18…      A priest after Melchizedek…Hebrews 6:20
  7. Genesis 14:18…      A King also… Hebrews 7:2
  8. Genesis 14:18…      The Last Supper foreshadowed… Matthew 26:26-29
  9. Genesis 17:19…      The Seed of Isaac… Romans 9:7
  10. Genesis 22:8…        The Lamb of God promised… John 1:29
  11. Genesis 22:18…      As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations…Galatians 3:16
  12. Genesis 26:2-5…      The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer… Hebrews 11:18
  13. Genesis 49:10…      The time of His coming… Luke 2:1-7; Galatians 4:4
  14. Genesis 49:10…       The Seed of Judah… Luke 3:33
  15. Genesis 49:10…       Called Shiloh or One Sent… John 17:3
  16. Genesis 49:10…       To come before Judah lost identity… John 11:47-52
  17. Genesis 49:10…       To Him shall the obedience of the people be… John 10:16
  18. Exodus 3:13,14…      The Great “I Am”… John 4:26
  19. Exodus 12:5…           A Lamb without blemish…1 Peter 1:19
  20. Exodus 12:13…         The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath… Romans 5:8
  21. Exodus 12:21-27…     Christ is our Passover… 1 Corinthians 5;7
  22. Exodus 12:46…          Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken… John 19:31-36
  23. Exodus15:2…            His exaltation predicted as Yeshua…Acts 7:55,56
  24. Exodus 15:11…          His Character-Holiness… Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27
  25. Exodus 17:6…           The Spiritual Rock of Israel… 1 Corinthians 10;4
  26. Exodus 33:19…         His Character-Merciful… Luke 1:72
  27. Leviticus 14:11…        The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood… Luke 5:12-14; Acts 6:7
  28. Leviticus 16:15-17…    Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death… Hebrews 9:7-14
  29. Leviticus 16:27…        Suffering outside the Camp… Matthew 27:33; Hebrews 13:11, 12
  30. Leviticus 17:11…        The Blood-the life of the flesh… Matthew 26;28; Mark 10:45
  31. Leviticus 17:11…        It is the blood that makes atonement… 1 John 3:14-18
  32. Leviticus 23:36-37…   The Drink-offering: “If any man thirst.”… John 19:31-36
  33. Numbers 9:12…       Not a bone of Him broken… John 19:31-36
  34. Numbers 21:9…       The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up… John 3:14-18
  35. Numbers 24:17…      Time: “I shall see him, but not now.”… Galatians 4:4
  36. Deuteronomy 18:15…     “This is of a truth that prophet.”… John 6:14
  37. Deuteronomy 18:15-16… “Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me.”… John 5:45-47
  38. Deuteronomy 18:18…      Sent by the Father to speak His word… John 8:28, 29
  39. Deuteronomy 18:19…      Whoever will not hear must bear his sin… John 12:15,
  40. Deuteronomy 21:23…      Cursed is he that hangs on a tree… Galatians 3:10-13
  41. Ruth 4:4-9…        Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us… Ephesians 1:3-7
  42. 1 Samuel 2:10…      Shall be an anointed King to the Lord… Matthew 28:18; John 12:15
  43. 2 Samuel 7:12…      David’s Seed… Matthew. 1:1
  44. 2 Samuel 7:14a…    The Son of God… Luke 1:32
  45. 2 Samuel 7:16…        David’s house established forever… Luke 3:31; Revelation 22:16
  46. 2 Kings 2:11…             The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated… Luke 24:51
  47. 1 Chronicles 17:11…       David’s Seed… Matthew 1:1; 9:27
  48. 1 Chronicles 17:12, 13a… To reign on David’s throne forever… Luke 1:32, 33
  49. 1 Chronicles 17:13a…     “I will be His Father, He…my Son.”… Hebrews 1:5
  50. Job 19:23-27…               The Resurrection predicted… John 5:24-29
  51. Psalms 2:1-3…             The enmity of kings foreordained… Acts 4:25-28
  52. Psalms 2:2…             To own the title, Anointed (Christ)… Acts 2:36
  53. Psalms 2:6…              His Character-Holiness… John 8:46; Rev. 3:7
  54. Psalms 2:6…               To own the title King… Matthew 2:2
  55. Psalms 2:7…               Declared the Beloved Son… Matthew 3;17
  56. Psalms 2:7-8…         The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated… Acts 13:29-33
  57. Psalms 2:12…           Life comes through faith in Him… John 20:31
  58. Psalms 8:2…             The mouths of babes perfect His praise… Matthew 21:16
  59. Psalms 8:5-6…         His humiliation and exaltation… Luke 24:50-53; 1 Corinthians 15:27
  60. Psalms 16:10…          Was not to see corruption… Acts 2:31
  61. Psalms 16:9-11…       Was to arise from the dead… John 20:9
  62. Psalms 17;15…         The resurrection predicted… Luke 24:6
  63. Psalms 22:1…          Forsaken because of sins of others… 2 Corinthians 5:21
  64. Psalms 22:1…          Words spoken from Calvary, “My God…” Mark 15:34
  65. Psalms 22:2…          Darkness upon Calvary…Mt. 27:45
  66. Psalms 22:7…          They shoot out the lip and shake the head… Mt. 27:39
  67. Psalms 22:8...         “He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him”… Mt. 27:43
  68. Psalms 22:9…          Born the Saviour… Luke 2:7
  69. Psalms 22:14…        Died of a broken (ruptured) heart… John 19:34
  70. Psalms 22:14,15…    Suffered agony on Calvary… Mark 15:34-37
  71. Psalms 22:15…         He thirsted……..John 19:28
  72. Psalms 22:16…         They pierced His hands and His feet… John 19:34,37; 20:27
  73. Psalms 22:17-18…     Stripped Him before the stares of men… Luke 23:34,35
  74. Psalms 22:18…        They parted His garments… John 19:23,24
  75. Psalms 22:20,21…    He committed Himself to God… Luke 23:46
  76. Psalms 22:20,21…     Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel… Hebrews 2:14
  77. Psalms 22:22…         His Resurrection declared… John 20:17
  78. Psalms 22:27…         He shall be the governor of the nations… Colossians 1:16
  79. Psalms 22:31…        “It is finished”… John 19:30
  80. Psalms 23:1….         “I am the Good Shepherd”… John 10:11
  81. Psalms 24:3…           His exaltation predicted… Acts 1:11; Philippians 2:9
  82. Psalms 30:3…          His resurrection predicted… Acts 2:32
  83. Psalms 31:5…         “Into thy hands I commit my spirit”… Luke 23:46
  84. Psalms 31:11…        His acquaintances fled from Him… Matthew 14:50
  85. Psalms 31:13…        They took counsel to put Him to death… John 11:53
  86. Psalms 31:14,15…    “He trusted in God, let Him deliver him”… Mathew 27:43
  87. Psalms 34:20…        Not a bone of Him broken… John 19:31-36
  88. Psalms 35:11…         False witnesses rose up against Him… Matthew 26:59
  89. Psalms 35:19…         He was hated without a cause… John 15:25
  90. Psalms 38:11…         His friends stood afar off… Luke 23:49
  91. Psalms 40:2-5…        The joy of His resurrection predicted… John 20:20
  92. Psalms 40:6-8…      His delight-the will of the Father… John 4:34
  93. Psalms 40:9…         He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel… Matthew 4:17
  94. Psalms 40:14…       Confronted by adversaries in the Garden… John 18:4-6
  95. Psalms 41:9…         Betrayed by a familiar friend… John 13:18
  96. Psalms 45:2…         Words of Grace come from His lips… Luke 4:22
  97. Psalms 45:6…         To own the title, God or Elohim… Hebrews1:8
  98. Psalms 45:7…         A special anointing by the Holy Spirit… Matthew 3:16; Hebrews1:9
  99. Psalms 45:7,8…      Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed)… Luke 2:11
  100. Psalms 55:12-14…   Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy… John 13:18
  101. Psalms 55:15…       Unrepentant death of the Betrayer… Matthew 27:3-5; Acts 1:16-19
  102. Psalms 68:18…       To give gifts to men… Ephesians 4:7-16
  103. Psalms 68:18…       Ascended into Heaven… Luke 24:51
  104. Psalms 69:4…         Hated without a cause… John 15:25
  105. Psalms 69:8…         A stranger to own brethren… Luke 8;20,21
  106. Psalms 69:9…         Zealous for the Lord’s House… John 2:17
  107. Psalms 69:14-20…   Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion… Matthew 26:36-45
  108. Psalms 69:20…       “My soul is exceeding sorrowful.”… Matthew 26:38
  109. Psalms 69:21…       Given vinegar in thirst… Matthew 27:34
  110. Psalms 69:26…       The Saviour given and smitten by God… John 17:4; 18:11
  111. Psalms 72:10,11…   Great persons were to visit Him… Matthew 2:1-11
  112. Psalms 72:16…       The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground… John 12:24
  113. Psalms 72:17…       His name, Yinon, will produce offspring… John. 1:12,13
  114. Psalms 72:17…       All nations shall be blessed by Him… Acts 2:11,12,41
  115. Psalms 78:1.2…       He would teach in parables… Matthew 13:34-35
  116. Psalms 78:2b…       To speak the Wisdom of God with authority… Matthew 7:29
  117. Psalms 88:8…         They stood afar off and watched… Luke 23:49
  118. Psalms 89:27…       Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings… Luke 1:32,33
  119. Psalms 89:35-37…    David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever… Luke 1:32,33
  120. Psalms 89:36-37…    His character-Faithfulness… Revelation 1:5
  121. Psalms 90:2…          He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2)… John 1:1
  122. Psalms 91:11,12…    Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ… Luke 4;10,11
  123. Psalms 97:9…          His exaltation predicted…Acts 1:11;Eph. 1:20
  124. Psalms 100:5…         His character-Goodness… Matthew 19:16,17
  125. Psalms 102:1-11…    The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary… John 21:16-30
  126. Psalms 102:25-27…   Messiah is the Preexistent Son… Hebrews 1:10-12
  127. Psalms 109:25…       Ridiculed… Matthew 27:39
  128. Psalms 110:1…        Son of David… Matthew 22:43
  129. Psalms 110:1…        To ascend to the right-hand of the Father… Mark16:19
  130. Psalms 110:1…        David’s son called Lord… Matthew 22:44,45
  131. Psalms 110:4…       A priest after Melchizedek’s order… Hebrews 6:20
  132. Psalms 112:4…        His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al… Matthew 9;36
  133. Psalms 118:17,18…  Messiah’s Resurrection assured… Luke 24:5-7;1 Corinthians 15:20
  134. Psalms 118:22,23…  The rejected stone is Head of the corner… Matthew 21:42,43
  135. Psalms 118:26a…     The Blessed One presented to Israel… Matthew 21:9
  136. Psalms 118:26b…     To come while Temple standing… Matthew 21;12-15
  137. Psalms 132:11…       The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body)… Luke 1:32
  138. Psalms 138:1-6…      The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings… Matthew 2:2-6
  139. Psalms 147:3,6…      The earthly ministry of Christ described… Luke 4:18
  140. Psalms 1:23…          He will send the Spirit of God… John 16;7
  141. Song of Solomon 5;16…    The altogether lovely One… John 1:17
  142. Isaiah 6:1…            When Isaiah saw His glory… John 12:40-41
  143. Isaiah 6:9-10…        Parables fall on deaf ears… Matthew 13:13-15
  144. Isaiah 6:9-12…        Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words… Acts 28:23-29
  145. Isaiah 7:14…           To be born of a virgin… Luke 1:35
  146. Isaiah 7:14…           To be Emmanuel-God with us… Matthew 1:18-23
  147. Isaiah 8:8…             Called Emmanuel… Matthew 28:20
  148. Isaiah 8:14…           A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense… 1 Peter 2:8
  149. Isaiah 9:1-2…          His ministry to begin in Galilee… Matthew 4:12-17
  150. Isaiah 9:6…             A child born-Humanity… Luke 1:31
  151. Isaiah 9:6…             A Son given-Deity… Luke 1:32; John 1;14; 1 Timothy 3:16
  152. Isaiah 9:6…             Declared to be the Son of God with power… Romans 1:3,4
  153. Isaiah 9:6…             The Wonderful One, Peleh… Luke 4:22
  154. Isaiah 9:6…             The Counsellor, Yaatz… Matthew 13:54
  155. Isaiah 9:6…             The Mighty God, El Gibor… Matthew 11:20
  156. Isaiah 9:6…             The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth… John 8:58
  157. Isaiah 9:6…             The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom… John 16:33
  158. Isaiah 9:7…             To establish an everlasting kingdom… Luke 1:32-33
  159. Isaiah 9:7…             His Character-Just… John 5:30
  160. Isaiah 9:7…             No end to his Government, Throne, and Peace… Luke 1:32-33
  161. Isaiah 11:1…           Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer… Matthew 2:23
  162. Isaiah 11:1…           A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse… Luke 3:23,32
  163. Isaiah 11:2…           The anointed One by the Spirit… Matthew 3;16,17
  164. Isaiah 11:2…           His Character-Wisdom, Understanding, et al… John 4:4-26
  165. Isaiah 11:4…           His Character-Truth… John 14:6
  166. Isaiah 11:10…         The Gentiles seek Him… John 12:18-21
  167. Isaiah 12:2…           Called Jesus-Yeshua… Matthew 1:21
  168. Isaiah 25:8…           The Resurrection predicted… I Corinthians 15:54
  169. Isaiah 26:19…          His power of Resurrection predicted… John 11:43,44
  170. Isaiah 28:16…          The Messiah is the precious corner stone… Acts 4:11,12
  171. Isaiah 29:13…          He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word… Matthew 15:7-9
  172. Isaiah 29:14…          The wise are confounded by the Word…I Corinthians 1:18-31
  173. Isaiah32:2…            A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place… Matthew 23:37
  174. Isaiah 35:4…            He will come and save you… Matthew 1:21
  175. Isaiah 35:5…            To have a ministry of miracles… Matthew 11:4-6
  176. Isaiah 40:3-4…         Preceded by forerunner… John 1:23
  177. Isaiah40:9…           “Behold your God.”… John 1:36;19:14
  178. Isaiah 40:11…          A shepherd-compassionate life-giver… John 10:10-18
  179. Isaiah 42:1-4…         The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer… Matthew 12:18-21
  180. Isaiah 42:2…            Meek and lowly… Matthew 11:28-30
  181. Isaiah 42:3…            He brings hope for the hopeless… John 4
  182. Isaiah 42:4…            The nations shall wait on His teachings… John 12:20-26
  183. Isaiah 42:6…            The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles… Luke 2:32
  184. Isaiah 42:1,6…         His is a Worldwide compassion… Matthew 28:19,20
  185. Isaiah 42:7…            Blind eyes opened… John 9:25-38
  186. Isaiah 43:11…          He is the only Saviour… Acts. 4:12
  187. Isaiah 44:3…           He will send the Spirit of God… John 16:7,13
  188. Isaiah 45:23…         He will be the Judge… John 5:22;Rom. 14:11
  189. Isaiah 48:12…         The First and the Last…John 1:30;Rev. 1:8,17
  190. Isaiah 48:17…         He came as a Teacher…John 3:2
  191. Isaiah 49:1…           Called from the womb-His humanity… Matthew 1:18
  192. Isaiah 49:5…           A Servant from the womb… Luke 1:31;Phil. 2:7
  193. Isaiah 49:6…           He is Salvation for Israel… Luke 2:29-32
  194. Isaiah 49:6…           He is the Light of the Gentiles… Acts 13:47
  195. Isaiah 49:6…           He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth… Acts 15:7-18
  196. Isaiah 49:7…           He is despised of the Nation… John 8:48-49
  197. Isaiah 50:3…           Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation… Luke 23:44,45
  198. Isaiah 50:4…           He is a learned counsellor for the weary… Matthew 11:28,29
  199. Isaiah 50:5…           The Servant bound willingly to obedience… Matthew 26:39
  200. Isaiah 50:6a…         “I gave my back to the smiters.”… Matthew 27:26
  201. Isaiah 50:6b…         He was smitten on the cheeks… Matthew 26:67
  202. Isaiah 50:6c…         He was spat upon… Matthew 27:30
  203. Isaiah 52:7…          To publish good tidings of peace… Luke 4:14,15
  204. Isaiah 52:13…        The Servant exalted…Acts 1:8-11; Ephesians 1:19-22
  205. Isaiah 52:13…        Behold, My Servant… Mt. 17:5; Philippians 2:5-8
  206. Isaiah 52:14…        The Servant shockingly abused… Luke 18:31-34; Matthew 26:67,68
  207. Isaiah 52:15…        Nations startled by message of the Servant… Romans 15:18-21
  208. Isaiah 52:15…        His blood shed to make atonement for all… Revelation 1:5
  209. Isaiah 53:1…          His people would not believe Him… John 12:37-38
  210. Isaiah 53:2a…        He would grow up in a poor family…. Luke 2:7
  211. Isaiah 53:2b…        Appearance of an ordinary man… Philippians 2:7-8
  212. Isaiah 53:3a…        Despised…. Luke 4:28-29
  213. Isaiah 53:3b…        Rejected… Matthew 27:21-23
  214. Isaiah 53:3c…        Great sorrow and grief… Luke 19:41-42
  215. Isaiah 53:3d…        Men hide from being associated with Him… Mark 14:50-52
  216. Isaiah 53:4a…        He would have a healing ministry… Luke 6:17-19
  217. Isaiah 53:4b…        He would bear the sins of the world… 1 Peter 2:24
  218. Isaiah 53:4c…        Thought to be cursed by God… Matthew 27:41-43
  219. Isaiah 53:5a…        Bears penalty for mankind’s transgressions… Luke 23:33
  220. Isaiah 53:5b…        His sacrifice would provide peace between man and God… Colossians 1:20
  221. Isaiah 53:5c…        His back would be whipped… Matthew 27:26
  222. Isaiah 53:6a…        He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind…Galatians 1:4
  223. Isaiah 53:6b…        God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind… 1 John 4:10
  224. Isaiah 53:7a…        Oppressed and afflicted… Matthew 27:27-31
  225. Isaiah 53:7b…        Silent before his accusers… Matthew 27:12-14
  226. Isaiah 53:7c…        Sacrificial lamb… John 1:29
  227. Isaiah 53:8a…        Confined and persecuted… Matthew 26:47-27:31
  228. Isaiah 53:8b…        He would be judged… John 18:13-22
  229. Isaiah 53:8c…        Killed…. Matthew 27:35
  230. Isaiah 53:8d…        Dies for the sins of the world… 1 John 2:2
  231. Isaiah 53:9a…        Buried in a rich man’s grave… Matthew 27:57
  232. Isaiah 53:9b…        Innocent and had done no violence… Mark 15:3
  233. Isaiah 53:9c…        No deceit in his mouth… John 18:38
  234. Isaiah 53:10a…      God’s will that He die for mankind… John 18:11
  235. Isaiah 53:10b…      An offering for sin… Matthew 20:28
  236. Isaiah 53:10c…      Resurrected and live forever…. Mark 16:16
  237. Isaiah 53:10d…      He would prosper… John 17:1-5
  238. Isaiah 53:11a…      God fully satisfied with His suffering… John 12:27
  239. Isaiah 53:11b…      God’s servant… Romans 5:18-19
  240. Isaiah 53:11c…      He would justify man before God… Romans 5:8-9
  241. Isaiah 53:11d…      The sin-bearer for all mankind… Hebrews 9:28
  242. Isaiah 53:12a…      Exalted by God because of his sacrifice… Matthew 28:18
  243. Isaiah 53:12b…      He would give up his life to save mankind… Luke 23:46
  244. Isaiah 53:12c…      Grouped with criminals… Luke 23:32
  245. Isaiah 53:12d…      Sin-bearer for all mankind… 2 Corinthians 5:21
  246. Isaiah 53:12e…      Intercede to God in behalf of mankind… Luke 23:34
  247. Isaiah 55:3…          Resurrected by God… Acts 13:34
  248. Isaiah 55:4…          A witness… John 18:37
  249. Isaiah 59:15-16a…  He would come to provide salvation… John 6:40
  250. Isaiah 59:15-16b…  Intercessor between man and God… Matthew 10:32
  251. Isaiah 59:20…         He would come to Zion as their Redeemer… Luke 2:38
  252. Isaiah 61:1-2a…      The Spirit of God upon him… Matthew 3:16-17
  253. Isaiah 61:1-2b…      The Messiah would preach the good news… Luke 4:17-21
  254. Isaiah 61:1-2c…      Provide freedom from the bondage of sin and death… John 8:31-32
  255. Isaiah 61:1-2…        Proclaim a period of grace… John 5:24
  256. Jeremiah 23:5-6a…      Descendant of David…Luke 3:23-31
  257. Jeremiah 23:5-6b…     The Messiah would be God… John 13:13
  258. Jeremiah 23:5-6c…     The Messiah would be both God and Man… 1 Timothy 3:16
  259. Jeremiah 31:22…        Born of a virgin… Matthew 1:18-20
  260. Jeremiah 31:31…        The Messiah would be the new covenant… Matthew 26:28
  261. Jeremiah 33:14-15…    Descendant of David… Luke 3:23-31
  262. Ezekiel 17:22-24…    Descendant of David… Luke 3:23-31
  263. Ezekiel 34:23-24…    Descendant of David… Matthew 1:1
  264. Daniel 7:13-14a…   He would ascend into heaven… Acts 1:9-11
  265. Daniel 7:13-14b…   Highly exalted… Ephesians 1:20-22
  266. Daniel 7:13-14c…   His dominion would be everlasting… Luke 1:31-33
  267. Daniel 9:24a…       To make an end to sins… Galatians 1:3-5
  268. Daniel 9:24b…       He would be holy… Luke 1:35
  269. Daniel 9:25…         Announced to his people 483 years, to the exact day, after the decree to rebuild the city of Jerusalem… John 12:12-13
  270. Daniel 9:26a…     Killed… Matthew 27:35
  271. Daniel 9:26b…     Die for the sins of the world… Hebrews 2:9
  272. Daniel 9:26c…     Killed before the destruction of the temple… Matthew 27:50-51
  273. Daniel 10:5-6…    Messiah in a glorified state… Revelation 1:13-16
  274. Hosea 13:14…      He would defeat death… 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
  275. Joel 2:32…          Offer salvation to all mankind… Romans 10:12-13
  276. Micah 5:2a…        Born in Bethlehem… Matthew 2:1-2
  277. Micah 5:2b…         God’s servant… John 15:10
  278. Micah 5:2c…          From everlasting… John 8:58
  279. Haggai 2:6-9…        He would visit the second Temple… Lu. 2:27-32
  280. Haggai 2:23…          Descendant of Zerubbabel… Luke 3:23-27
  281. Zechariah 3:8…       God’s servant… John 17:4
  282. Zechariah 6:12-13…  Priest and King… Hebrews 8:1
  283. Zechariah 9:9a…      Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem… Matthew 21:8-10
  284. Zechariah 9:9b…      Beheld as King… John 12:12-13
  285. Zechariah 9:9c…      The Messiah would be just… John 5:30
  286. Zechariah 9:9d…      The Messiah would bring salvation… Luke 19:10
  287. Zechariah 9:9e…       The Messiah would be humble… Matthew 11:29
  288. Zechariah 9:9f…        Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey… Matthew 21:6-9
  289. Zechariah 10:4…        The cornerstone… Ephesians 2:20
  290. Zechariah 11:4-6a…    At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders… Matthew 23:1-4
  291. Zechariah 11:4-6b…    Rejection causes God to remove His protection… Luke 19:41-44
  292. Zechariah 11:4-6c…    Rejected in favor of another king… John 19:13-15
  293. Zechariah 11:7…         Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant… Matthew 9:35-36
  294. Zechariah 11:8a…        Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them… Matthew 23:33
  295. Zechariah 11:8b…         Despised… Matthew 27:20
  296. Zechariah 11:9…           Stops ministering to the those who rejected Him… Matthew 13:10-11
  297. Zechariah 11:10-11a…    Rejection causes God to remove protection… Luke 19:41-44
  298. Zechariah 11:10-11b…   The Messiah would be God… John 14:7
  299. Zechariah 11:12-13a…   Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver… Matthew 26:14-15
  300. Zechariah 11:12-13b…   Rejected… Matthew 26:14-15
  301. Zechariah 11:12-13c…   Thirty pieces of silver thrown into the house of the Lord… Matthew 27:3-5
  302. Zechariah 11:12-13d…   The Messiah would be God… John 12:45
  303. Zechariah 12:10a…       The Messiah’s body would be pierced… John 19:34-37
  304. Zechariah 12:10b…       The Messiah would be both God and man… John 10:30
  305. Zechariah 12:10c…       The Messiah would be rejected… John 1:11
  306. Zechariah 13:7a…        God’s will He die for mankind… John 18:11
  307. Zechariah 13:7b…       A violent death… Matthew 27:35
  308. Zechariah 13:7c…       Both God and man… John 14:9
  309. Zechariah 13:7d…      Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him… Matthew 26:31-56
  310. Malachi 3:1a…          Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah… Matthew 11:10
  311. Malachi 3:1b…         Sudden appearance at the temple… Mark 11:15-16
  312. Malachi 3:1c…        Messenger of the new covenant… Luke 4:43
  313. Malachi 4:5…        Forerunner in the spirit of Elijah… Matthew 3:1-2
  314. Malachi 4:6…       Forerunner would turn many to righteousness… Luke 1:16-17

Calvinism would say being spiritually dead means we are completely unable, like a dead body, to respond, even to the Gospel of God (Colossians 2:13), but is this conclusion actually found in the Bible?

Unfortunately, this line of reasoning is often used on biblically novice, non-Calvinists as a stepping stone into “reformed” theology. They will typically point to Jesus raising Lazarus as the prime example. (John 11:43) The argument goes something like this- Lazarus couldn’t hear Jesus because He was dead, rotting in a tomb, just like we are dead in our sins, therefore we cannot even hear God calling. And if we cannot hear God at any level, because of our deadness, then the conclusion is that God must need to first raise us from the dead for us to respond to His voice. This is the T for Total Depravity in the Calvinist acronym T.U.L.I.P. This then opens the door to the U-Unconditional Election, the L-Limited Atonement, and the I-Irresistible Grace.

At that point, many believers simply throw in the towel and begin to at least remain open, soft, and silent to Calvinism. Sadly, many have even been won over through the deadness of sin argument. But, in truth, the Lazarus argument is one developed through walking by sight, not by faith.(2 Corinthians 5:7) Deadness does not mean complete deafness.

By sight, it may appear correct to say Lazarus was dead and unable to hear the Lord, however Lazarus wasn’t dead, he was simply separated from his body. Lazarus wasn’t rotting in that tomb. His visible, physical body was. It wasn’t Lazarus who couldn’t hear and respond to Jesus, it was his body that was unable to receive soundwaves. 

Biblically speaking, death is not simply an animated, physical creature becoming permanently inanimate. Death is separation. Adam and Eve died the day they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, yet they lived for many centuries beyond that day. But the day they sinned they surely died. That is to say, they were separated from God in the spiritual sense. (Genesis 2:16-17)

When Lazarus died, he was separated from his body. When Jesus called to him, it wasn’t his physical, visible rotting corpse He was calling to. It was the Lazarus who was separated from his body four days prior and was arguably in “Abraham’s Bosom” with the other Old Testament saints.  Lazarus had bodily listened to Jesus speak many times before and most likely, like Mary and Martha, had already believed Jesus was the salvation of sinners. So the attempt to use Lazarus being called from the tomb as a biblical reason to believe in the Calvinist misinterpretation of deadness is frankly out of place.

Equating spiritual death with inability to respond to the Lord’s Gospel is specious at best and deceptively destructive at worst. Apart from the Spirit we most certainly cannot know the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-14), however, there are no Scriptures that teach man’s inability to at least hear and respond to the glorious Gospel.

After all, the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). God does not save us so that we can then hear and respond to the Gospel. We all must first hear and respond (believe by faith) to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. 

“If you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 

For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, Whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed. 

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. 

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? 

And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? 

As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:9-15

God-Write-the-Bible“I have even from the beginning declared to you; before it came to pass I shewed it to you: lest you should say, My idol has done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, has commanded them.” Isaiah 48:5

“Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, you may believe that I am.” John 13:29

Jesus came exactly when He said He would.  He came in the “Fullness of time”, just at the right time.  Jesus, who is God, knows the end from the beginning and has told us the things that will happen before they happen so that when they happen, we will know that He truly is the Son of God.

God used prophets to give clues about the: who and what and where and when and why ,concerning the Messiah, the Chosen One, that people were to be using to look for Him.  People were to be looking for the Messiah, the Chosen One, that was to come and save them from their sins.  The prophets were given these clues to speak and write down hundreds and sometimes even thousands of years before Jesus was ever born on earth as a man, never stopping being God.

These clues or prophecies are what make the Bible separate or totally different than any other religious book or book written by people in the entire world.  God’s word is in a category all of its own.  That would make sense if there is only one God: one God, one book.  God’s clues, spoken by His prophets were to be searched and the people should have been longing for, wanting the Messiah to come.

This is what Christmas is all about!  God’s promise finally happened.  Emmanuel, God with us, was born into the world and was named Jesus which means “Jehovah or YHWH or I AM, is salvation.”  There is no other Savior than God Himself.  Christmas was God’s word, His promise, becoming flesh.  Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh.  Christmas is what proved that God’s promise really did happen and because this promise of Jesus happened along with many other prophecies given by God, we know we can trust Him in His word for those things that have not happened yet.

He came once and people were to be watching, and He promised that He would come again to bring His children to where the Father is, in heaven and then finally return for good as the ruling King over this earth.  Be watching.  Don’t be like those who didn’t watch for His first coming, but be paying attention, looking forward to the King who is coming again.

“I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold you hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the LORD: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.” Isaiah 42:6-9 

Above It All

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This Mother’s Day…

As believers, let us never forget we can rejoice and praise the Lord in both the good times and in the bad.

We all have so many hopes and dreams, especially for our lives and our children’s lives, yet often this world sends storms beyond our control and we can do nothing but simply watch as our course and the courses of those we deeply love are altered. Sometimes these changes are, in part, due to decisions we have made. Other times, they are just the result of living in a broken and fallen world.

Special days like Mother’s Day can be so exciting, a time to thank our mothers and be thanked as mothers, yet it’s also a time when sorrow can quickly invade. There are many circumstances, some of which I understand first hand, that have affected families, ones that cause days like today to be quite difficult. Regardless of time, wounds are often still present. But dare we never forget that even in the worst of storms, the sun still shines above it all.

Praise Jesus, because for the born again believer, there’s eternal hope beyond the temporal storms and successes, above the peaks and valleys of this world. Regardless of the tragedies, trials, broken hearts and even beyond the earthly successes, there’s a wonderful kingdom above it all. This heavenly kingdom is eternal and available for any and all who choose to receive the full and free forgiveness of Jesus Christ. “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on Me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46.

Despite what we’ve been told, true life is not the sum total of all our expectations, experiences, hopes, and desires. Life is so much more than us. True life is Jesus Christ and no matter what storms come across our course, as Christians, we can still know victory because our God is outside and above it all. Jesus endured it all and laid down it all. He became sin for us, so we could finally be brought above it all to know what life’s really all about.

He became the lowest of all and then raised up to highest of all to provide the only way for mankind to receive Him as our All in All! Only because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection can we have true life, ETERNAL life! In John 17, Jesus reminds us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”  John 17:3. The Christian life is not easy. In fact, it’s frankly impossible. Only Jesus lived it perfectly and only Jesus can live His life in us. True life is only discovered when we once and for all give Jesus the reins, letting Him lead us Home to our Heavenly Father.

But the old life I chose to mortify still knocks on the door of my heart and mind. It still wants to be appreciated, noticed, and coddled. It becomes jealous when anyone else gets the attention, most of all Jesus.The world, the flesh, and the devil will often remind us of the tragedies and fleshly triumphs, desiring nothing less than for us to lose sight of the Son above, all together forgetting about our risen Lord and Savior.  And days like today can sometimes become grand opportunities for the flesh to come knocking.

Instead of opening the door, may I embrace the true Comforter, the Savior and sanctifier of my soul. May I take my eyes off myself and instead look intently at the only One I truly cannot live without. May I learn to embrace the difficulties this planet offers as opportunities to steadfastly grow closer to my Rock and Refuge.

The Lord has called us to so much more than we can ever comprehend this side of Heaven. May we take time to love Jesus today, worshiping Him in spirit and in truth. And then let us simply continue serving Him, letting Him take care of every outcome. There are perhaps many tragedies filling your heart today. May the Lord bring us above them all, empowering us to continue running the heavenly race He has set before us with joy and grace in our hearts!

May we simply abide in Christ, continually feasting on His wonderful Word. Then let us continue faithfully planting and watering His Word in all those He puts in our path. We cannot truly change the course of anyone, but we can point them to the only One who can. His light will shine, even piercing through the darkest of storms, and with it comes true life. What an absolute privilege and blessing to wholeheartedly love and follow Jesus, knowing He truly is above it all!

“Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12

“Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The Only Way

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I wonder if perhaps one reason the Lord created the earth to orbit in such a way that it never gets anywhere new is to help us remember to stop trusting in the same old, man-centred habits we’ve repeatedly embraced and performed for so many years.

There is a tree firmly rooted in this sin-soaked soil, one that every prideful heart pledges to protect at all cost. This tree is watered and fertilized with every vain philosophy and false religious system formed and followed by the first Adam’s fallen race. Sadly, the fallen nature in each of us delights in its temporary beauty, food, and shelter.

Ever since sin came in, the mantra of man has been onward and upward by whatever earthly means possible. No matter how many times mankind’s failures reveal his own futility, he stubbornly refuses to switch directions. Our persistent pride is truly deplorable! We have repeatedly fulfilled Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

There’s only way to get off this earthly orbit. If we desire to truly be free, to truly live, our heart must move, not only off this planet, but out of the universe. Creation is fallen so it can do nothing but cause us to fall back to this world. We must move past all of creation and instead wholeheartedly fix our full and undivided attention upon the Creator. Only by turning to the One True God, the Creator and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, will we pass from death to life.

“Jesus said… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by Me.” John 14:6

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears My word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24

Robber or Redeemer

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“Now at that feast the governor was accustomed to releasing unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will you that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” Matthew 27:15-17

Pilate said, “But you have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the Passover: will you therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.” John 18:39-40

From the cereal isle at the grocery store to the food court at the mall, there’s no doubt this world is inundated with an almost endless amount of choices. We are constantly bombarded with advertisements featuring the “latest and greatest” of everything. It’s no wonder we’ve almost become completely desensitized to the daunting amount of decisions staring at us day after day. Yet, in spite of this mountainous menagerie, our choices really don’t have to be that complicated. You see, when it’s all said and done, we are left with only two simple, but absolutely crucial decisions in all that we believe, do, say, and think – the robber or the Redeemer.

When Christ was led before the people, Pilate gave them a choice, Barabbas or Jesus.  The people had arguably made hundreds of thousands of choices in their life times, yet all those decisions could all be boiled down into one of these two categories, the robber or the Redeemer.  The same can be said for all of mankind throughout time. Although material is not necessarily good or bad, our hearts, being stubbornly self-willed, tend to allow us to become completely distracted by the lusts, pleasures, and pain of this planet. In a very real sense, we are often more than willing to be robbed of the joy and peace and wonderful knowledge of Christ for what is, at best, a measly bowl of stew. (Genesis 25:29-34). When examining the presence and power of the robber and the glorious reality of the Redeemer, there are definitely some things worth carefully considering. Here are just a few.

The Robber: Destroying the Foundation
This sin-soaked world, comprised of the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, only has one goal, one aim… to steal all the glory from God!  Jesus called Satan a thief and a murderer and reminds us that he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.  Even though he is the thief of all thieves, the devil obviously cannot actually steal the Lord. Nor can he kill the truth. And he most certainly cannot destroy the Word of God.  Some might wonder about Psalm 11:3… If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? Doesn’t this verse teach that the foundations can be destroyed?

There are two vantage points to consider when examining this verse, man’s and the Lord’s. Considering the Lord, we know there is nothing that can stand against Him, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Since this is the case, we can logically and biblically conclude that this verse is not saying that God’s Word can actually be destroyed. However, mankind’s love for and access to God’s Word can most definitely be rotted, replaced, and ruined.  I have absolutely no power to actually destroy God, but I most certainly have the capacity to infect and influence the hearts and minds of myself and others, causing a lost desire and direction for the truth, in essence, stealing away the one true foundation. So although the foundation, that is to say, God’s Word, endures forever, we do know that our appropriation, understanding, and application of that foundation can assuredly be robbed from us.

One example of this is found in the parable of the soils (Luke 8). The “birds” (the devil) snatched the Word from the hardened heart, therefore removing the only foundation that will endure forever. Did the Word actually get destroy? No. But the Word was robbed from taking root in the hardened heart.  So, it might be better to say the robber’s strategy is an attack of the heart, an attack designed to prevent us from seeking and being satisfied in the Lord and the truth of His everlasting Word. This attack often involves offering us deceptive distractions and distorted doctrines in an effort to keep our hearts calloused and “dull of hearing”. (Matthew 13:15-16, Hebrews 5:11)

The Redeemer: All Things New
So many have said that we all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only Jesus can fill, and while this is true, it is not completely the case. Jesus does not come to simply fill the hole in our old, selfish hearts. No, He comes to remove the stony heart and transplant a new and living heart, His love and life, in its place.  God’s Word calls this the new birth. (John 3) Jesus does not simply fill our old, prideful, flesh-driven and glory-gleaning hearts. He does something much more amazing! He gives a total and spiritual heart transplant. God’s promise to Israel through Ezekiel is also a promise to all who desire to receive His full and free forgiveness in Jesus –  “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh” Ezekiel 36:26.

Not only do we receive a new heart, we also receive a renewed mind. The Bible calls this the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) Jesus does not desire to fill a portion of our self-centered, “me, myself, and I” preoccupied mind. No, He instead gives us a renewed mind. Being born again means we receive a new heart and a new mind.  This is the truth of the new birth only made possible by the righteous Redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

The Reality: Being Born Again is Just the Beginning
Jesus represented all of humanity and as that perfect representation, the Last Adam walked the walk mankind (the first Adam’s race) was always supposed to walk. Just as Jesus fully and freely laid down His life to the will of His Heavenly Father, so too are we to do the same. Jesus does not steal our old nature. He is no robber! He truly is the remarkable Redeemer! He paid our sinful price in full, offering all who are willing to come to Him. He purchased us from the slave market of sin, self, and Satan and in its place, He offers us new life in Him. Jesus freely offers His Spirit, His nature, as the great exchange for all who are willing to turn to Him, all who choose to be redeemed. But this exchange is not the end. Actually, it’s just the beginning. Just as in all births, being born again means there’s a lot of growth to come.

Even though those who have been born again have passed from death to life, having received a new heart and new mind, there is still the presence of the old man and of this broken, sinful world. That is why, for our good and His glory, the Lord requires us to bury the old man by daily turning from ourselves and this rebellious world to the True and Living God, Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever and ever, amen!

My Reasonable Responsibility: Wearing the Redeemer’s Clothes
Although the old, selfish, and rebellious man has been dethroned, he will not be completely eradicated until the rapture or in death. Oh, what a day that will be, to see without the fleshly veil, my great and glorious King! Oh, what a day that will be!!! So, in order to keep myself from being robbed by the riches and cares of this world; if I am to prevent myself from having my love of Jesus and His Word stolen through subtlety, then burying the old man daily is a must! (1 Corinthians 15:31, Colossians 3:4-11)

Great, but what are practical means necessary to keep from being robbed of the depth and beauty and glory of the Lord? “Just give me a list,” says the baby Christian. “Tell me the things of this world that Satan will use to rob me of the knowledge of Christ. Then I will be prepared.” The Bible definitely gives us some broad and sometimes even detailed lists of what we should “take off/mortify”, however it is interesting to note that God’s Word does not account for every single, specific danger we will face in the world. I’m sure there are many reasons for this, but arguably one of the main reasons has to do with our hearts.

I’m sure we’d all agree that even good, godly things have the potential of robbing the throne of the new heart, the throne only Jesus deserves to sit upon.  So, it’s not necessarily just about following a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s more about diligently guarding our hearts daily. (Proverbs 4:23) It’s about putting on the full armor of God so we can daily stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11-24) Mortify the old man, yes!  Make no provision to the flesh, yes! But we have the privilege and responsibility of putting on the new man by clothing ourselves everyday with Christ. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” Romans 13:14.

Get to know the Good Shepherd’s voice by reading His Word often, praying fervently, knowing our righteousness is in Christ, and obeying our Heavenly Father willingly and wholeheartedly.  Then, and only then, will we be able to prevent our hearts from being robbed of the amazing beauty and joy found solely in Jesus Christ, our great and glorious Redeemer!

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.” Job 19:25

Jesus said, “All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:8-11

Rugged Cross“The choice we face is not, as many imagine, between heaven and hell. Rather, the choice is between heaven and this world. Even a fool would exchange hell for heaven; but only the wise will exchange this world for heaven.” -Dave Hunt, An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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