Tag Archive: Jesus Christ


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
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Pokémon Go- Where is it Taking You?

untitledThe new Pokémon app- Pokémon Go has truly captured the hearts and minds of millions across the globe. Launched in the US on July 6, 2016, the Pokémon Go app has quickly become a full-fledged phenomenon. In case you’re not familiar with Pokémon Go, you can click “HERE” to read Wikipedia’s explanation. Some news websites claim it is currently the most repeatedly frequented app throughout the day, more so than Facebook or Instagram. According to at least one site, Nintendo’s stock went up 30% upon its release. Many are already speculating as to its wild and rapid popularity. Some suggest nostalgia along with the general escapist mentality flooding today’s society have combined to make an almost perfect breeding ground for Nintendo’s first augmented reality game.

Although augmented reality is not a new concept for today’s culture, Pokémon Go has definitely captivated the imagination of the masses and undoubtedly opened the flood gates for many more games to come. Clearly, there’s a place for careful and biblical examination and discussion of the challenges of embracing technology which allows people to mentally and emotionally escape while still feeling somewhat physically connected to the real world. This article, however, will not be that platform. This post will mainly address a third area of escape; one I believe is even deeper than anything emotional or mental. This area is the spiritual component and it is this author’s conclusion that the spiritual component is truly the heart of the matter.

There are plenty of physical concerns already being reported as well. For example, two men died in Southern California Thursday by falling off a bluff while trying to capture digital Pokémon creatures. Two men were rescued the day before after falling 50-100 feet off a crumbling sandstone bluff. One of the men was found unconscious by the fire fighters who saved them. Other people have been robbed, found wandering into traffic and straying into dangerous locations, at least one person was stabbed, and the stories continue to roll in.

Most articles I found claim Pokémon Go is a good thing because it gets people outside and exercising (mostly walking). It also helps players explore some of their local and historic landmarks. There’s even been one recent report of someone playing the game who witnessed a child pass out from heat exhaustion after being bullied by two boys. The article concludes if it weren’t for playing the game, that child may have never been rescued. Understandably, there have been some practical benefits, but those of us who have been born again by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ are no longer pragmatic in our beliefs and practices. Pragmatism says if it works, then do it. But born again believers should not hold to this philosophy. We should exclusively cling to God’s Word and often God’s Word does not “work” in this dark and dying world. Even though we still fall to the flesh, we don’t run to the world and its vain ideas for the answers. Born again believers are being sanctified and growing day by day by the power and Word of God. No, we are not practically perfect or completely mature yet, but our desire should be nothing less. Our heart should always recognize that Jesus plus nothing equals everything. And when it comes to things like games, video games, movies, and entertainment, it should be no different.

Arguably, our world has undeniably and unashamedly become completely infatuated with pleasure and amusement, ever increasingly blurring the lines between what’s real and make believe. And arguably this same desire has infected much of today’s church. We all desperately need a strong, daily dose of God’s Word and self-denial, no matter how long we’ve been Christians. The lusts and pride of this world will always pull on the old man, causing us to lose sight of eternity. Sadly, many do not seem to notice how many are being caught up in the wake of this world’s folly.

Yes, Pokémon is just one of many of today’s entertainments vying for our attention and adoration, but hopefully by briefly examining its methods and message, readers might grow in their understanding and discernment, helping them correctly weigh out other avenues of today’s amusement as well.

The Heart of the Matter is Spiritual

Spiritually speaking, there are three dangerous deceptions specific to Pokémon and its underlying message briefly examined below. (Note: There are several other issues worth investigating, but for the sake of brevity, this article includes only a few of the main concerns.)  

First, consider the pattern of Pokémon. The pattern is essentially for each trainer to catch as many Pokémon (which incidentally comes from two words: “Pocket” and “Monster”) as possible. “Gotta Catch Em All” is the slogan oft repeated in Pokémon. To catch the creatures which live in an alternate Pokémon universe/reality, the owner must have one of his monsters battle the monster he seeks to capture. If the monster he possesses defeats the “wild” one, the trainer gets to keep it. This makes the winning monster and trainer more powerful and eventually the trainer can become a master.  This pattern is the same basic one practiced within much of the occult throughout time. In the occult, much time is devoted to capturing both spirits and knowledge to help one ascend to higher levels. Here some might argue that none of this was the intent of Pokémon’s inventor, Satoshi Tajiri. Frankly, it’s irrelevant what the inventor of Pokémon says was his inspiration. The spirit world has its own doctrines and is happy to disseminate its false teachings and practices through any and all means available, regardless of the spiritually-blinded human host’s intended inspiration.

Secondly, consider its message of evolution. Evolution was taught and embraced way before Charles Darwin or Charles Lyell attempted to sanitize and popularize it by falsely calling it science. Evolution has been the foundation for ALL spiritual mysticism and occultism since Satan introduced his lie to Adam and Eve in the Garden. After all, how can a human become a god without evolution? Pokémon undeniably depends on evolution. Each creature can evolve, making it more powerful than before. This, of course, is essential if the owner/trainer is to win more battles and collect more and more monsters. At one point, Wizards.com explained it this way, But what is a Pokémon, you ask. ‘Pokémon are incredible creatures that share the world with humans,’ says Professor Oak, the leading authority on these monster. ‘There are currently 150 documented species of Pokémon. . . . Each Pokémon has its own special fighting abilities. . . . Some grow, or evolve, into even more powerful creatures.. . . Carry your Pokémon with you, and you’re ready for anything! You’ve got the power in your hands, so use it!’” 

On Wikipedia’s Pokémon site, it says,If a Pokémon fully defeats an opponent in battle so that the opponent is knocked out (i.e., “faints”), the winning Pokémon gains experience points and may level up. When leveling up, the Pokémon’s statistics (“stats”) of battling aptitude increase, such as Attack and Speed. From time to time the Pokémon may also learn new moves, which are techniques used in battle. In addition, many species of Pokémon can undergo a form of metamorphosis and transform into a similar but stronger species of Pokémon, a process called evolution.” [Emphasis added.]

Lastly, consider its message of witchcraft. Most of the monsters in Pokémon are essentially categorized into the same four basic elements embraced in witchcraft and the occult: Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire. Also consider this basic explanation from Wikipedia’s Pokémon site, In most incarnations of the fictional Pokémon universe, a Trainer that encounters a wild Pokémon is able to capture that Pokémon by throwing a specially designed, mass-producible spherical tool called a Poké Ball at it. If the Pokémon is unable to escape the confines of the Poké Ball, it is officially considered to be under the ownership of that Trainer. Afterwards, it will obey whatever its new master commands, unless the Trainer demonstrates such a lack of experience that the Pokémon would rather act on its own accord.” [Emphasis added.] The same is readily understood in shamanism and new age/occult practices. In occultism, those seeking to tap into the “spirit world” are repeatedly warned not to take it lightly because spirits can recognize one’s power or lack thereof and choose whether or not they will be subject to that practitioner (at least for a time).

The ultimate focus is not merely on training and collecting pocket monsters with the intent of making them become more powerful. The major goal is to skillfully use your evolving monsters to assist in making you the most powerful person in the entire world/universe. Attaining power through subjected, spiritual monsters for the goal of ultimate ascension is the actual message of Pokémon. The intro song to the Pokémon show starts out with, “I will travel across the land, searching far and wide, Each Pokémon to understand the power that’s inside. Gotta catch them all!”  Witchcraft/ occultism is essentially focused on using the physical world to assist in attaining spiritual power and so it is with Pokémon.

What does God’s Word say about witchcraft and practicing magic? “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or observer of times, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all these things are an abomination unto the Lord…” Deuteronomy 18:10-14

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” 1 Samuel 15:23a

This article is not meant to be extensive or exhaustive, but hopefully encourages the saints to keep from getting caught up in escapism, nostalgia, or blindly following steps that might lead to spiritual deception. I completely understand that most kids and adults, regardless of whether or not they’re Christian, are not playing Pokémon to intentionally practice sorcery or get in touch with demons. (Although some do.) But we must understand that our intentions do not negate the dangerous and deceptive inventions devised by the enemy of our souls. Even thistle seeds appear small and quite harmless until they take root and begin to grow. Satan knows this. His goal is to keep us shortsighted and completely fixated on our feelings and flesh.

***For more details on specific Pokémon creatures and some of their deceptive and dangerous Shintoist/Buddhist and mystical characteristics, go to this very well researched article:

A Christian’s Mission: ‘Gotta Know, Gotta Learn, Gotta Discern, Gotta Go!’ into the Pokemon World with Truth

Remember, to play Pokémon correctly, children need to not only know, but understand the “power” inside each Pocket Monster. (Note: After 20 years, there are now over 750 of these creatures!) What are some of the powers involved? How about the power of hypnosis, the power of catching and destroying dreams (eating dreams), casting evil spells (hexes), levitation, and incantations. Some of the other practices well recognized and understood in Pokémon culture – The power of the aura, spiritual evolution, eastern meditation, and even the practice of yoga. These are just a few of the spiritual philosophies and practices taught in this “game”.

Where will you “GO”?  

Games like Pokémon are designed to take their followers somewhere. They have seeds, seeds which once allowed to take root in our hearts and minds, can potentially have long-lasting and very ill effects. If fed and watered, they will grow into weeds that can consistently rob us of the true Light and Food necessary for our spirit to grow closer to our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is a very real danger of being led away from the Lord. 

Perhaps you disagree. Or perhaps you believe this to be such a minor concern that it’s not worth examining any further. But before you simply dismiss this as unimportant or foolishness, please prayerfully go the Lord and search His Word to see if these things be so. I would also recommend the articles below. This world is only temporal, but while we’re here, we must recognize there are many things beyond this physical universe that seek to draw us away from our marvelous Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ!

May we sincerely seek the only One who bought us with His blood, loving and serving Jesus with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength each and every day! That’s where the Lord wants to take us! May we be willing to go His way, not our own!

“Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-3, 5

“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” 2 Corinthians 2:11

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16-17

Jesus said, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.” John 15:3-4

 

A Few Other Helpful Links:

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

Star Wars: In Light of God’s Word

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters.” Matthew 6:21-24a

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, maker of the Star Wars movies. Over the last four decades Star Wars has consistently won the hearts and minds of viewers of all ages and is arguably one of the most lucrative and widespread cinematic enterprises ever to hit the silver screen. And with Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm back in 2012, provided the Lord tarries, Lucas’ legacy and message are all but guaranteed to thrive for years to come.  According to an online article from USA Today, “Disney expects to more aggressively expand the Star Wars film schedule, Iger [Disney CEO] said in a statement. Following the release of Episode VII in 2015, “our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years,” Iger said. Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, Iger said, would follow “probably on a cadence of every other year and then go from there.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/10/30/disney-star-wars-lucasfilm/1669739/

Over the years, many studies have examined the marketing and message of the Star Wars industry in hopes of gleaning some of its “industrial magic”. It truly is one of the first movies ever to build such an enduring and successful toy/product line reaching almost four decades and spanning around the globe. Anyone alive in the late 70’s-mid 80’s should be able to testify to the Star Wars fan frenzy every December. There were literally empty toy shelves across the country and frantic parents braving the rain, sleet, and snow to make sure their children had the latest and greatest Star Wars action figures and accessories.

Very few movies have ever cemented themselves so thoroughly into the psyche of the masses.  Its enduring popularity alone should cause even the moderate Christian to pause and inquire a bit further. Interestingly, there are not that many resources thoroughly examining the spiritual/biblical implications of Star Wars.  With that in mind, along with the long anticipated Episode 7 on the virtual horizon, I hope this brief article serves to help readers understand some of the core concerns with the Star Wars message.

A Brief Testimony

As a child I was mesmerized by the Star Wars movie series (IV, V, and VI).  I had watched them so often I could recite almost every line from all three movies.  My parents did not raise me in the New Age (New Spirituality) or any religion for that matter.  My temple was mostly the theater and my doctrines formed from the movie mysticism I fed upon.  I can say without equivocation that Star Wars was one of the greatest influences on the false understanding I grew to embrace pertaining both to God and to myself.

There may be readers thinking that compared to the horror and gore riddled throughout today’s TV, video game, and movie entertainment, Star Wars is really nothing more than a benign sci-fi alternative featuring fanciful creatures, heroes, and villains from galaxies far, far away. But nothing could be further from the truth. Arguably Star Wars doesn’t contain much graphic gore. Neither is there much in the way of swearing, sex, and intense violence, but there is most definitely a message; one that is diabolical and deceitfully destructive through and through. It is a message that resonates with people from around the world and was intentionally designed to cement one simple idea into the hearts and minds of everyone watching, “May the force be with you.

The rest of this article will focus on several main points that readers should then be able to use to share with others. Hopefully these tools will add light to a message that has very much been injected and embraced even by many Christian families.

Point 1: The Family Structure

For a variety of reasons moms, not dads, tend to be the spiritual leaders in their households. And since that’s the case, moms are usually the ones guiding the spiritual landscape of their families. But who’s typically more interested in sci-fi, guys or girls? Typically guys are.

Over the years, I’ve spoken with many parents and fellow teachers and when talking with moms and female teachers, I almost always hear the same two basic responses, “I’m not even interested in things like Star Wars” and “I’m just happy my husband is doing something with our son”.  Can you see the problem here?  If moms are typically the spiritual leaders and they are not interested in the very thing their husbands and sons are bonding over, then how does that family really know if the messages they’re feeding on are spiritually “safe”?  The simple answer is they don’t.  

Point 2: George Lucas’ Message

It’s easy to forget that this world is full of messages and most of them don’t even originate from the pulpit.  Some messages might be hard to “swallow”, especially when shared with a Christian crowd. That old phrase “a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down” can definitely be applied to today’s media/entertainment industry.  Granted, some films are mostly made for entertainment value with little real content behind them; however there are others that have seemed to find a perfect mix of “sugar” and “medicine”. In other words, there are some movies that do a very good job of feeding the audience their message in such an entertaining and amusing way that the medicine (message) is widely and readily received.

disney-bought-george-lucas-ideas-for-the-new-star-wars-trilogy-and-then-scrapped-themGeorge Lucas is a master storyteller. He understands the nature of the viewer quite well. Some might argue that the message behind Star Wars is really not that intentional and that Lucas simply wanted to tell a story that would translate well on the big screen.  The following article shows a little insight into what Lucas had to say regarding the Star Wars message and his own understanding of what he was actually teaching the audience:

“Lucas, even after Empire, said as much in his story conference talk with scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan and director Richard Marquand before they started shooting Jedi:

      Kasdan: The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it?
      Lucas: Yes, everybody can do it.
      Kasdan: Not just the Jedi?
      Lucas: It’s just the Jedi who take the time to do it.
      Marquand: They use it as a technique.
      Lucas: Like Yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing. Also like karate.” http://www.starwars.com/news/so-what-the-heck-are-midi-chlorians

Despite any arguments to the contrary, Lucas most definitely understood what he was doing when he wrote the Star Wars saga. He understood how to to introduce a spiritual message that would appeal to the masses in a very personal way. Unfortunately, it worked.

Point 3: The Main Message

When audiences, both young and old alike, exit the movie theater, there is one simple message they will undoubtedly take with them, “May the force be with you.”  This sounds harmless enough, right?  Wrong! One day I was in another teacher’s classroom after school and her fourth grade son came in. She asked him to help pick up all the music stands and arrange the chairs. After she walked away, he looked at me with his hand stretched out, a smile on his face and remarked, “I wish I could use the Force right now.”  Understandably, he was somewhat just saying he didn’t want to work that hard in rearranging his mom’s classroom, but even though he might not have grasped the implications, he clearly understood the appeal.  After all, wouldn’t it be nice if we could tap into some sort of energy to manipulate both minds and matter to our will?  Oh, the flesh would love it!  We wouldn’t even need to summon a genie out of a lamp to do our bidding. We could actually become the genies and do whatever we wanted.  Isn’t that an appealing message, especially to children!  The apostle Paul, however, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit reminds us, When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). The message of Star Wars, albeit simple, has been effectively taught with mass appeal and long lasting devotion. 

Point 4: The Main Character

As with all good stories, audiences have favorite Star Wars characters. Some are cute and others are brave. Some are perfect villains and others great victors. But there is arguably one character that rises above the rest; one character without whom the Star Wars story would not be a story at all. That character is the Force.

Star Wars SignThe new movie coming out December 18th, 2015 is number seven in the saga and entitled Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In one of the movie trailers, the voice of Luke Skywalker states, “The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too.”

There are many clues woven throughout the saga as to how the Force actually works, but without getting too in depth, the Force is simply an impersonal energy/power that is neither good nor evil. This amoral Force is nothing new. George Lucas simply borrowed concepts from Hinduism, witchcraft, etc. and repackaged them to appeal to the masses.  Sorcerers, yogis, and shamans have long understood the reality of some power that can be “tapped” into and used to both benefit self and others.

Again, despite those who might think otherwise, the Star Wars Force, although a false replacement for the true God, is neither good nor bad. It is neither right nor wrong. Nor does it really care one way or the other about anything.  The western mind thinks in terms of morality, i.e. good vs. evil, however the Force is actually better understood in line with the yin and yang found in many eastern philosophies and religious practices, i.e. Taoism. The white side (yang) is not necessarily good. It simply is what it is. The black side (yin) is not evil. It is not understood to be anything other than the other side of the yin. Both are actually necessary and neither can be strictly measured morally.

As chapter 8 of the Huainanzi (an ancient Chinese text that consists of a collection of essays) claims:

“Yinyang embodies the harmony of heaven and earth, manifests the forms of myriad things, contains qi to transform the things and completes various kinds of things; yinyang extends and penetrates to the deepest level; begins in emptiness then becomes full and moves in boundless lands.” http://www.iep.utm.edu/yinyang/

This same article also explains, “Yin and yang are the qi [life force]of the universe. These qi flow within the natural as well as the human worlds. Thus qi, a force arising from the interplay between yin and yang, becomes a context in which yinyang is seated and functions.”  In other words, both sides (light and dark) are necessary for the force to properly function and eventually harmonize.  Witchcraft is understood in much the same way. White magik, although supposedly benevolent, is not defined in a morally “good” sense. Nor is black magik inherently evil. However since witchcraft has become so popularized in the west over the last few decades, there has been much westernized confusion mingled into its actual teachings.

One online article states, “Star Wars producer George Lucas said, “The Force is neutral, and it can be used for good or evil… The Force has two sides. It is not a malevolent or benevolent thing. It has a bad side to it involving hate and fear, and it has a good side, involving love, charity, fairness and hope. If you use it well, you can see the future and the past. You can sort of read minds and you can levitate and use that whole netherworld of psychic energy.” [TIME magazine – May 19, 1980]  His description of “the Force” seems to be right out of the occult and witchcraft. Constance Cumbey first alerted Christians to the New Age Movement’s occult association in her book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow. She refers to Eva Dowling’s comment in a New Age “bible” that “…one may enter fully into the spirit of the ‘God of Force’”, which, in the New Age Movement, is a central spiritual being.  “Force” is a technical term used in witchcraft, which is what the films feature. Black (“bad”) and white (“good”) witchcraft are contrasting uses of the force of nature, which is defined as neutral but can be employed either way.” http://wordandtheworld.homestead.com/StarWars.html

Another online article says, “Christian author Pastor David J. Meyer, once a practicing witch, explains the true meaning of “May the Force be with you.” He wrote: “When real witches have sabats and esbats and meet as a coven, they greet each other by saying “Blessed be”, and when they part, they say “The Force be with you.” Both sides of this “Force” are Satan. It is not a good side of the force that overcomes the bad side of the force, but rather it’s the blood of Jesus Christ that destroys both sides of the satanic Force.”  http://www.vigilantchristian.org/starwars.html

The Star Wars Force is nothing less than the mystical and ancient power that has tied all religions together throughout the centuries.  It is not the same as the personal God of the Bible, but instead the Force provides the potential for people to have their own power as they discover how to tap into this universal power, essentially causing them to ‘evolve’ into their own gods.  This power has no will of its own, nor does it have a mind. Ultimately, who gets to make their own decisions, choosing their own fates and fortunes? We do. The Star Wars Force is really just a repackaged version of the original lie which Satan has been spreading since he first spoke with Eve in the Garden- “You shall be like gods…” (Genesis 3:5). 

The Force is not simply some creative, made-up character to help propel the Star Wars saga. In truth, it is the oldest and most popular of Satan’s lies, the one used to plague and propel billions of people into a horrible, Christ-less eternity.

Interestingly, the Force is actually found in the Bible. In Daniel, the Lord wrote pertaining to the Antichrist, “But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things” (Daniel 11:38). [Emphasis mine]  This is the only time this Hebrew word is translated “forces”.  It is perhaps more than a little interesting that the only time God’s Word uses the idea of a false “god of forces” is to describe the Antichrist himself.

Point 5: A Jesus Replacement (An Anitchrist)

There are all sorts of occult ideas riddled throughout much of today’s media/entertainment; however there is a consistent theme routinely employed to pull in audiences. The story usually starts with a child or young adult who is either an orphan or in an environment he/she wants to escape from. The young person soon finds a mentor, or the mentor finds the child. And what is the mentor’s message?  “You’re special. You’re different. You have so much hidden potential within you. You just don’t know it yet. You have the potential to lead people to victory.” It then becomes the mentor’s duty to help the young, naïve child discover how to exercise his/her untapped mystical skills through a variety of eastern practices, i.e. mindless meditation, visualization, etc.  Soon the mentor takes a backseat, letting the student become the leader in some sort of rescue mission to save humanity.

Luke with LightsaberThis kind of message is often confused within Christian communities who are too often looking for ways to build bridges to a lost and deceived world. Over the years there have been a variety of so-called Christian books, Bible studies, and outreaches based on movies such as The Matrix, Star Wars, etc.  When The Matrix was still really popular, I had a seventh grade student who insisted that Neo (the main character in The Matrix; similar to Luke Skywalker) was a type of Jesus.  Plenty of people have made the same incorrect connection with Luke Skywalker.  After all, Luke rises in power to rescue the universe.  But there is one big problem with this conclusion.  In every occult based movie, whether Dune, The Matrix, or Star Wars, the main character rises in power to rescue civilization, but not for the purpose of knowing the personal and loving God who created the universe.  They always rise up with a message of self-discovery leading to self-deliverance which is passed on to others so they too can become their own empowered self-deliverers (gods).

This isn’t the message of the true Jesus Christ, rather the message of the “God of forces”, the Antichrist. This is the message of Satan, and it’s been the same lie since the Garden of Eden!

After peeling away the personalities and general likability of Luke Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi, Yoda, other Jedi knights and masters, viewers are left with the clear conclusion that these characters are nothing other than wizards, sorcerers, and priests practicing mysticism in hopes of ascending until they reach their final goal: godhood.  Interestingly, there has been a steady interest and acceptance over the last couple decades in actually developing and practicing a Jedi Knight religion, especially in the UK. It’s being called Jediism and is recognized as an official religion. In the 2010 UK census, almost 200,000 people identified as holding to the teachings of the Jedi Knight. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9737886/Jedi-religion-most-popular-alternative-faith.html. Clearly, many people around the world understand the mystical doctrines which have so very plainly and intentionally been intertwined into the Star Wars storyline.

Sorcery’s rebellious foundations and seductive and dangerously deceptive doctrines all come from devils and are completely opposed to the true Gospel. Because of this, the Lord has understandably given very harsh consequences for those practicing such things.  Carefully consider a few familiar Scriptures:

  • “A man also or woman that has a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death…” Leviticus 20:27.
  • “There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” Deuteronomy 18:11.
  • “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1 Samuel 15:23. [Emphasis mine]
  • “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:21-23. [Emphasis mine]
  • “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8. [Emphasis mine]

Point 6: Altering the Very Character of God

“It’s just a movie” is often the excuse heard when people are confronted with content concerns.  Perhaps we too have essentially said the very same thing, maybe not aloud, but by our actions. While it is clear that movies are a modern form of entertainment, there is nothing that says entertainment is intrinsically harmless. Those who have become addicted to and corrupted by pornography can testify that movies can be much more than just movies. Again movies often contain messages and messages (words) have meaning. Once those messages are embraced, even a little bit, they have at least the very real potential of altering our view of the truth.

Jesus said, “If you stay in My Word, My disciples you will be, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). Ultimately, the goal of God’s Word is to know God.  Jesus taught that the Word of God is the seed which needs to be planted in soft hearts. But the world has seeds as well. The Bible doesn’t have the market cornered on the meaning of life.  There are many false ideas of life and its purpose, all of which emanate from the deepest of all concepts… the character of God Himself.  The highest goal for any human is to truly know God, to understand and know the One who created this universe, the One who rescued humanity by dying for all their sins so we could freely and fully return to Him through His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is our door, our only door, yet Satan is subtle and knows that in order to keep people from coming he must provide other doors. And to keep Christians for growing closer to our Savior, at least some of those doors must look pretty close to the original.

Specific to Star Wars, since the main character (the Force) is really a pseudo-type of god, the danger with this movie’s message in particular is the potential it has in manipulating viewers’ understanding of the true God revealed in the Bible.  There are many ways of corrupting our understanding of the Lord; however one of the main methods is two-fold: deprivation and supplementation.

If a person is deprived of the truth found in God’s Word he will most likely be much more susceptible to receiving a supplemental replacement.  This won’t necessarily mean a believer replaces his ultimate understanding of the true God for a lie. It does mean that a lie can be introduced as a supplement (in addition to), over time leading to a synthesized (mixed) god.  Some of the believer’s understanding will be biblical and some will not.  This of course is true at some level for all of us since we all deal with the flesh and the world every day; however we should all be seeking to increase our understanding of the true God, not running out to be fed a bunch of amusing lies.

There are several so-called Christian books and articles seeking to make comparisons between the Force and the Lord God of the Bible. The issue here is that although there may be a few similarities between the two, there are also differences and it’s always the differences that make the difference. As within all areas of life, one does not learn to exercise discernment by simply focusing on similarities. We must always examine the differences if we are to actually build our understanding properly.  A doctor never simply looks at what’s right with her patient. She must examine what is wrong if she is to correctly diagnose and treat the person. The same is true for the mechanic, the teacher, the parent, etc.

A few vital differences between the Force and the true God of the Bible:

The Force The True God of the Bible
Impersonal Personal

(John 17, 1 John 5:20)

Part of Creation Outside of Creation

(Genesis 1, John 1:1-3, Col. 1:16)

Not a Savior The one true Savior

(Isaiah 45:21-22, John 3:16-17)

Point 7: The Faith of Feelings

Trusting in our feelings is one of the biggest lies ever sold to humanity. Sadly, we live in a generation that is not only encouraged to embrace their feelings, but celebrate them regardless of how depraved. The moral line that at least used to be outwardly recognized has now been erased and replaced by a much more deceptive and subjective standard – feelings.  There seems to be no part of today’s society that does not tell us to “let our hearts be our guide” and Star Wars is no different. Consider a couple excerpts from the following articles:

“Unraveling Absolutes by focusing on subjective feelings:  “God is perfect and absolutely perfect. Obi-Wan teaches Anakin the concept that absolutes belong on the evil side when he says “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” As Christians we understand that Jesus was without sin and God is absolutely good. By teaching Anakin absolutes belong on the evil side, Obi-Wan is teaching a Luciferian concept that the God of Moses, absolutely good, is evil.” http://www.vigilantchristian.org/starwars.html

Referring to Obi-Wan’s teacher, the author of Naming a Jedi writes, “He became Qui-Gon Jinn, a powerful Force-adept who relied on his subconscious urges (‘the will of the Force’) to a degree that discomfited those around him, a quality destined to bring both great suffering and, in the end, the salvation of the galaxy. Young Obi-Wan would learn from him a commitment to trusting his instincts, something he would pass on to Luke decades later (‘trust your feelings!’). … “In Star Wars, there is more ambiguity — ‘use the Force’ and ‘use your instincts’ are synonymous, and yet one implies faith in the supernatural and one implies faith in the self. I explain this as two different ways to characterize the intuitive impulses that well from within us….”  Originally from Naming a Jedi. Quoted in- http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/star-wars.htm.

While Luke is unsuccessfully learning to use his lightsaber during training, Obi-Wan Kenobi instructs him to cover his eyes and let his mind go blank and simply trust his feelings.  Basically to become an expert in the Force, Luke and all Jedis must cease from thinking and instead put all their trust in their feelings.  There isn’t one single Scripture that even eludes to mankind ever putting trust in their hearts.  There are plenty of verses, however that give very clear reminders of just how deceptive and destructive the human heart truly is. Here are just a few examples:

  • “Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that does good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:3
  • “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
  • “He that trusts in his own heart is a fool…” Proverbs 28:26a

To See or Not to See (Should you see the movie?) 

Some will say yes. Some will say yes, but then want to point out the errors to their children. Some will say no. No matter what direction people are led, may we choose to be led by the Lord and His Word, not man’s opinions and certainly not our own personal feelings. Job’s reminder to make a heartfelt  covenant with his eyes most definitely applies to every area of our lives, including the entertainment we choose to watch. (Job 31:1)

A few things to consider… Some will choose to see the movie and simply dismiss it as entertainment. Hopefully this article has helped to address enough issues to make it clear that Star Wars is far from simple amusement. For those who might choose to watch the movie with their families and then point out the errors, you may want to evaluate the most beneficial way to teach about the dangerous errors of doctrine and practice. For example, do we take our children to strip clubs or bars to explain the issues of drunkenness and lust? There may be wisdom at times in engaging head on with particular errors, however involving our children, especially our young children in these engagements, is questionable at best.  We also might need to be honest with ourselves, making sure we really want to examine and expose error and not simply find a reason to enjoy a little “entertainment”.

Now what?  What to do from here? 

Although this article is specific to Star Wars, I hope it encourages readers to remember that all media contains messages, many of which are not made for the purpose of glorifying the Lord. Keep praying and studying God’s Word and continue keeping your ear to the ground. There are always new avenues for the enemy to transport his lies; however the lies are typically not that different. Repackaged? Yes. New and improved? Not really.  The basic story in Star Wars is found in many books, movies, and video games.  Don’t be afraid to engage your children. Ask them questions. If they have a favorite show, book, or video game, children typically won’t hesitate to tell you everything about it. Be patient and let the Lord work in their hearts and minds as you continue reading the Word and praying with them.

The goal isn’t so much to get believers to stop doing certain things as it is to get them to keep growing in their love for Jesus. As we draw closer to Jesus, we will always begin to see just how destructive this world really is. As the song goes, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  Teach your children to understand and know the Lord by studying His Word and personally praying to Him regularly. (1 John 5:20-21) In doing so they will begin to understand they’re not giving anything up by letting go of this world.  After all, it’s difficult to cling to Jesus when both hands are full of the world. But when we see the glory and splendor of our King, how can we do anything less than hold tightly to Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength?  Ultimately, no matter what the influence, it should always boil down to one simple thing… love Jesus more, and love the world less.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

A few helpful resource article links: (While the information in the articles below is helpful, we are not necessarily endorsing everything from these ministries. As always, we are all responsible for searching the Scriptures, as well as examining the avenues of Satan’s lies for ourselves.)

 

heart-in-bible“The work of Christ on the cross did not influence God to love us, did not increase that love by one degree, did not open any fount of grace or mercy in His heart. He had loved us from old eternity and needed nothing to stimulate that love.

The cross is not responsible for God’s love; rather it was His love which conceived the cross as the one method by which we could be saved. God felt no different toward us after Christ had died for us, for in the mind of God Christ had already died before the foundation of the world. God never saw us except through atonement.

The human race could not have existed one day in its fallen state had not Christ spread His mantle of atonement over it. And this He did in eternal purpose long ages before they led Him out to die on the hill above Jerusalem. All God’s dealings with man have been conditioned upon the cross.”

― A.W. Tozer, The Radical Cross: Living the Passion of Christ

imageSin is so terribly destructive, so utterly diabolical! Sin is so horrific that it’s true power and perversity are arguably unfathomable by the human mind. How much more so for the father of lies, the father of sin!?

We dip and dabble at it as if certain sins are permissible. We tolerate sin in our lives and sometimes even encourage it as if it’s as harmless as a squeaky screen door. Perhaps our reluctance to resist the devil (in the Lord’s strength of course) has something to do with our own perspective of sin and the father of it.

What if you discovered you were born into a family that had been hunted and killed for years? What if you also discovered that there was one person behind it all, a person only known as the prowler? You are forced to grow up on the run and after a decade of fear, the unthinkable happens. Your parents, your brothers, and sisters are all trapped and killed. Some how you are able to get away, only to go on the run again.

Another decade goes by, and you finally think you’re safe so you decide to settle down. Not too long after you move into your first place, a package arrives in the mail. Wrapped in beautiful, shiny paper, this intriguing gift causes you to let down your guard. There’s a small card attached. Your curiosity gets the best of you. You open the card. The message reads, “Dear Boy, I hope you accept my gift. Trust me, you will not be disappointed. Your Friend, The Prowler.”

Would you open the gift? If not, then why? Why not open a present offered by the one responsible for hunting and destroying so many?

Of course, it’s not always so black and white with Satan, the enemy of our souls. Or is it? Perhaps it is that clear, but because of our deep personal devotion to the flesh, we often allow the issues to become muddied so we really don’t have to think too much about them.

Maybe if we’d ask the Lord to seriously pull back the curtain on sin, Satan, and our own selfish hearts, we’d begin understanding the deep destructiveness of the worldly nets we’ve wrapped ourselves in. Perhaps if we’d sincerely ask the Lord to give us eyes to see the sinfulness of sin and the beauty of Himself, we’d choose to leave this world’s temporary temptations alone, instead clinging wholeheartedly to the only gift that truly and eternally matters, Jesus Christ!

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“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:15-18, 21

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Whether in a novel, a crime show, or while at work, we have all heard this phrase borrowed by the world time and time again. However, as they understandably do so often, those who  use it strip the phrase from of its actual and powerful meaning. Sadly, many in the church have heard it said so often, they too have perhaps forgotten what Jesus is really teaching His disciples.

Early on in my Christian walk, John 8:31-32 were two verses that had a tremendous and even life changing impact on me. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32. It occurred to me that Christianity, although filled with an amazing testimony regarding the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ wasn’t simply a story that changed my life. It wasn’t one religion among many which just happened to be the one that worked for me. No, Christianity was and is and always will be built upon the bedrock of the truth.

So often people get saved and are then brought into a local church body. They are quickly put to work, staying busy with activity after activity. Soon Christianity is solely defined by the activities and friendships and the Word is marginalized in place of the work. Although there is an important place for the work, unless the Word of God is put first, the work we are doing might very well end up being the work of men, not the Lord.

Once a born again believer realizes, truly realizes that Christianity isn’t merely about a changed life or the work one does; once the Christian really begins to see that Jesus is the one and only way to the Father of Life because He is the truth, then that believer has finally begun standing upon the solid ground.

Undeniably, our firm foundation is Jesus, yet as He reveals in John 8:31-32, our faith becomes solid when it is exercised with the understanding that God’s Word is uniquely and unequivocally true. We need not run to the popular preacher nor to the pop-psychologist, but to the Word of God to know the truth. There is no college, no institution, no religion on the planet that can offer what the Bible can.

Jesus didn’t say that facts will set men free. He said the truth found in God’s Word alone would bring real and eternal freedom to the souls of men. Christianity is one hundred percent based on the truth and nothing but the truth, period.

Unfortunately we tend to wander from the Word, leaning instead upon the words of men. The natural man loves the “all natural” flavors produced and peddled by other men. Yet, there are those who long for something more, something better. There are those who, perhaps for years, have done the “church” thing, yet now realize men and their activities can never truly satisfy. Only the truth will do!

In these two amazing verses, Jesus tells us many things. First, He declares that He is God. He does not say, “If you remain in God’s Word.” He says, “If you remain in My Word.” He is saying the Word spoken to the faithful followers of the LORD from the beginning of time has always been His Word. Jesus truly is God.

He also teaches us that His Word is not simply true, but that it is sufficiently so. Jesus does not say, “If you stay in My Word, you will know part of the truth.” We are promised to know ALL of the truth pertaining to everlasting freedom. God’s Word is truly sufficient. One of Satan’s greatest strategies among believers is not to deny the truth of God’s Word, but instead to deny its sole sufficiency. Once people buy into this horrific lie, they will then be willing to drink from all sorts of muddied streams, all in hopes of discovering some drop of pure water.

As strange as this sounds, this one strategy has literally and repeatedly crippled the body of Christ from walking in the true power and victory God has intended for her. May we not be ensnared any longer!

True freedom comes exclusively from God’s Word. Despite their many claims, absolutely nothing this world offers can produce eternal freedom, nothing. Neither psychology nor religion, neither education nor entertainment will do. The ways of man will always fall short of eternity and often lead to temporal destruction as well.

Those reading these two verses should also inquire about the freedom offered by Jesus. Freedom yes, but freedom from what? Jesus is not providing freedom to go live our own lives independent of divine authority. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Simply put, God’s Word promises to sufficiently bring freedom from sin, from self, and from the power of our first father, Satan.

God’s promise also ensures freedom to finally love and serve the One we were made to worship; the Living and True God, the Creator and Savior of the world. This is the freedom found exclusively in the Word of God, the Word not based on the sinking sands of man’s opinions or Satan’s devices, but rather the Word which is the truth and nothing but the truth.

On this Lord’s day, may we praise and thank Him for His wonderful reminder to stop feeding the flesh. May we cease from fearing and following the words and ways of men. Instead let us wholeheartedly love the truth of God revealed to us by His Holy Spirit as we remain in the glorious, eternal, and sufficient Word of Truth!

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20

A Celebration for Fun?

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What if a church decided to start a new celebration, one that they could teach to the lost? What if, for some unknown reason, they chose to have it take place on a very important pagan date, a day those worshipping creation (rather than the Creator) especially cherish?

The event would have children dress up in costumes magnifying man and all his vain imagination could fathom. Some could even choose to dress like wizards and witches, skeletons, zombies, and ghosts.

Once the date and costumes were decided, the church would then start sharing the new tradition with their neighbors, reaching out to the lost. To keep everyone coming year after year, they decided they’d need an incentive, so a decision was made to give out lots of candy to all the children who participate.

After the first few years, the adults might decide they too want to join in the festivities, so there is another committee formed to plan what to do for them. They decide to encourage the grown ups to  decorate their houses inside and out, but they too are asked to put up things reminiscent of darkness and death.

There could also be greeting cards and adult costumes, all to help everyone learn about and remember the church’s new celebration. Plus, the more people participating, the less likely individuals will be to stop joining in.

Just as the planning is almost done, someone in the back of the room stands up to ask a question. “What if some question the timing of our event and choice to represent so much darkness, especially since our call is to shine the Light of Jesus,” he asks. Everyone turns back again to the front to hear from the committee members sitting at the head tables.

After a brief pause, one of the members smiles. “We’ll simply explain to everyone in the church that we’re doing it all in the name of fun,” he suggests. “Then, just in case our neighbors wonder, we’ll tell them we really don’t believe any of the things we’re doing. We’ll say we’re just playing make believe. That should suffice.” Everyone nodded in agreement and then finalized their plans for the church’s newest and most fun celebration yet.

“Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
2 Corinthians 6:14-16

Bible Light Bulb ImageThere are many questions and even more supposed answers about eternity. Lots of people have said there are many ways to get to Heaven.  After all, don’t all spiritual roads lead to the same place? Does it really matter what religion we follow?  If we’re simply sincere, devoted, and passionate about whatever we believe, won’t it all work out in the end?  Can’t my good works outweigh the bad things I’ve done in the past?  How can we really know for sure?

What’s the Answer?

Maybe you’re wondering some of the same things.     If not, you should be. After all, eternity is a lot longer than the few short years we’ll spend on this planet.  Asking good questions is important, but finding the right answers is even more crucial! If you’re lost and stop to ask someone for directions, it really does matter whether the directions he/she gives you are right or wrong. So in hopes of preventing anyone from getting even more lost, let’s examine several of today’s most popular myths.

We’ll examine seven basic misunderstandings/ myths in pursuit of discovering the true answer to how we can know for sure we are going to Heaven.

MYTH 1: The majority must be right. Just because people have answers doesn’t mean those answers are true, even if a majority agrees. A survey of 35,000 American adults shows that 70 percent believe there are many paths to God, but just because a majority believes the same thing doesn’t necessarily make it true.  Consider Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Just because many were in agreement with Hitler doesn’t make what he believed and did correct. Following the majority isn’t the answer!

MYTH 2- Sincerity is what matters.  Just because someone is sincere in a belief doesn’t make it right.

  • Does it matterif a sincere pharmacist puts the wrong pills in a bottle?
  • Does it matterif a surgeon sincerely believed he removed a kidney when in fact he removed the liver?
  • Does it matterif a woman ate a poisonous mushroom, even though she sincerely thought it would be good for her?

It is possible to be very sincere, but be sincerely wrong. The critical question is not whether someone is sincere, rather what is the truth?  Sincerity is not the answer.

MYTH 3: Pretty good is good enough. One of the greatest lies ever believed is that human beings can be good enough to get to Heaven!  I’ve heard this so many times and at one point even believed it myself.  I’ve even had professing atheists tell me if there is a ‘God’, then when they die they’ll be okay because they’ve been pretty good. Here’s the thing, being pretty good isn’t the real issue. God’s standard isn’t pretty good, it’s perfection. After all, God isn’t simply pretty good. He’s perfect.

Being pretty good isn’t the answer.

MYTH 4: Religion is good enough.  At some level, all religions say we must do good works in order to be right. Biblical Christianity is totally unique.  In religion, man has to reach up to God by his good works. In Christianity, God reached down with the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. He was crucified for the sins of the world. If religion, rituals, and traditions worked, Jesus would’ve never had to come and die.  Religion is not the answer!

MYTH 5: My future good deeds will make up for my past bad deeds. Here’s the problem. Let’s say you get a speeding ticket for driving 55 in a15 mph school zone, then stand before the judge and tell him you’ll never speed again. Will that make up for the crime you’ve already committed?  No. What if you tell the judge you’ve driven through that area many times before, always following the law? Will that make up for your crime?  No. We don’t get extra credit for following the law. The law requires that we follow it completely. That’s the whole point. Following the law tomorrow will never make up for the fact that we broke it today.  Simply said, the price has to be paid!  Future good deeds are not the answer.

Myth 6: I’m a good person.  We all tend to compare ourselves with one another; forgetting people are not the standard.  We did not make this universe, and we did not make the moral laws any more than the physical laws of this universe. God is the Creator, and He is the standard, not us. All one has to do is look at God’s law, which can be boiled down to the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)  to see if we really are good people, if we measure up to the holiness of God.  Here are a few of God’s moral laws:

  • “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”  Telling the truth is the backbone of any society and the Bible. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie…” God is truth.  Have you ever told a lie; even a “little” one?
  • “You shall not steal.” Have you ever taken something that is not yours?
  • “You shall not commit adultery.”  Jesus took this commandment to a deeper level when He said, “If you have even looked upon someone with lust, it means you have already committed adultery in your heart with that person.” Matthew 5:27-28. Have you ever looked at someone with lust?

Now things get a little more interesting.  James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

So if we’ve even broken one of God’s commandments, we’ve broken them all.

 I ask you again, “Have you broken any of the Ten Commandments?” If you’re honest, you’ll have to say yes. Since we’ve all broken God’s law, it’s clear no one is really a good person.

Here’s the truth:  The reason sincerity, religion, and good works just don’t cut it is because they all originate from men and according to God, we’ve all willfully sinned. That is to say, we’ve all come short of God’s standard of perfection. Period!  We’re not the solution, frankly we’re the problem.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

God knows we’ve sinned.  We know we need His forgiveness. “For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” Psalm 38:18  

The shedding of an animal’s blood reminded the Israelites that death was a result of man’s choice to rebel against his Creator. It was also a clue of God’s faithfulness to one day send One who would pay the ultimate price by dying for all of humanity, One who would not only die, but take the spiritual and eternal punishment we deserve so our penalty against God would be fully paid. A male lamb without spot was used in the Old Testament for a yearly sacrifice to God. This was a clue that One would come, not as a spotless lamb, but as a sinless man and God to die for the sins of the world.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29  

Jesus is the Lamb of God that the Old Testament pointed to, the One that would be the final, complete, and eternal sacrifice to God the Father by dying on the cross for our sins. God the Father literally poured out the anger and wrath we deserve upon His Son!

“He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Are you ready to repent (turn) and put your    belief in Jesus and His finished work on the cross for you?

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for your sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:3-6  

Myth 7: Christianity is just too narrow-minded.  With so many religions around the world, this might seem reasonable. Jesus claimed to be the only way to Heaven, yet many believe this is too narrow-minded. But is this bad? When I walk through the front door, does it ever bother me that there’s only one door? When I enter a gas station or a store, do I ever stop to complain when there’s only one door?  No. One door doesn’t mean anything other than there’s only one way in.  One way, in reality, makes it simple. There’s one way, making it very easy to identify both the true and the false doors.  Yes, one way to Heaven is narrow, but narrow doesn’t mean it’s bad. The God of the Bible says He’s one God (Deut. 6:4), so why not only have one way? God doesn’t want us to follow a lie. All may enter, but we must enter His way, not our own. Being too narrow just isn’t an excuse. Believing there are many ways to Heaven isn’t the answer.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14

 THE TRUE and ETERNAL ANSWER

The answer of eternity is found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ!  You have two choices. Sadly, most choose the wide road to exit planet Earth. The other way is the narrow road which is covered with the blood of Jesus Christ.

WHICH ONE WILL YOU CHOOSE?

“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 [Jesus] shall not be ashamed.”  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Romans 10:9-13  

“For [God] says, “I have heard you in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I helped you: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  2 Corinthians 6:2  

There is only one way to get to Heaven. The true path is through Jesus Christ and Him alone. You must make this decision before you die. There’s no second chance after death.

Repent and believe on Him for the forgiveness of your sins before it’s too late.

(Originally produced and distributed by Once Lost Ministries)

No Jesus, No Thanks!

Heart and Cross ImageAn atheistic evolutionist would have us believe there is nothing more than matter, yet if matter is all there is, then how would an immaterial concept such as “THANKS” ever originate? “Thanks” has no color, no shape, no texture, and no taste. A rock, for example, is matter in a solid form, yet it cares nothing about being thankful. In fact, we could say a rock cannot even care, let alone be thankful. The same could be said for all solids, liquids, and gases. Thankfulness is a concept that goes way beyond the material. So if it didn’t come from matter, then where did thanks originate from?

Nonphysical concepts such as thankfulness cannot be derived from matter, but instead must come from something immaterial. And to say that thankfulness came from some sort of impersonal “higher power” energy or force would be foolish. Mindless energy and impersonal forces would be unable to produce such a personal concept as thanks.

Thanks is not simply a figment of our imagination found in the dictionary and it is not the mindless product of some impersonal force. It could only originate from One who is both personal and loving.  In truth, thanksgiving must stem from a loving heart, one that is not self-seeking. The Bible describes this kind of love in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love vaunts not itself, is not puffed up…” 1 Corinthians 13:4 This love comes from the personal God who is love (1 John 4:8,16), the God who demonstrated His love in sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Savior of the world. (John 3:16-17)

Jesus is not only the Savior, He is the Creator and coming King. (Colossians 1:11-20) He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He truly is the Son of God and God the Son.  Without Jesus there would be no universe and no earth. There would be no salvation. There would be no love and without love there would be no thanks!  Truly it can be said, “No Jesus, No Thanks!” During this season, let us not only be thankful, but be sure to give thanks to only One who truly deserves it all, the Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!

“Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon His name, make known His deeds among the people. Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him, talk you of all His wondrous works. Glory in His holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and His strength, seek His face continually.” 1 Chronicles 16:8-11

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