John 14:6 I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
God has given us His word so that we may understand, it is by the spirit of God that we receive this understanding. We must be very careful that we are not just blindly following men who profess to be teaching the truth of God but are really agents of Satan. To grow in understanding we must study the word of God daily. Never assume that we understand the word of God enough that we no longer have to study.
Matthew 24:5 "For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Messiah,' and will deceive many."
Revelation 1: 1-20 "This is the revelation of Jesus Christ, [ many claim that Revelations is from John, but we read from the opening statement that it is from Jesus Christ.] which God gave Him [ this revelation comes directly from God the Father to Christ] to show His servants what must soon come to pass. He [Christ] made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, [Christ used and angel to bring this message to John] who testifies [speaking of John] to everything he saw. [when Christ was on earth] This is the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear and obey what is written in it, because the time is near.
John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia
Grace and peace to you from Him [God the Father] who is and was and is to come, [to come=God will establish His throne on earth] Revelation 21 :1-4 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Continuing with Revelations 1
and from the seven Spirits before His throne, [God the father] and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, [ while on earth] the firstborn from the dead, [the first of many to be resurrected] and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him [Christ] who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood, who has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father, [God is not a trinity] to Him be the glory and power forever and ever! Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, [the second coming] even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come the Almighty. [speaking of God, the Father]
I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance that are in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and my testimony about Jesus. [John was banished to the island of Patmos in 94 AD, the 14th year of the reign of Emperor Domitian, the elderly John the Apostle was exiled to the island of Patmos from the Roman government for preaching and was exiled to the island of Patmos, Greece.]
On the Lord’s day [ many have come to view this as Sunday, but there is really no clear indication of this, I personally understand this term Lord’s day not as a specific day but more of a event taking place on earth, were Gods final act of His plan in being played out] I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, saying, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, [Churches] and among the lampstands was One like the Son of Man, dressed in a long robe, with a golden sash around His chest. The hair of His head was white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like a blazing fire. His feet were like polished bronze refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the roar of many waters. He held in His right hand seven stars, and a sharp double-edged sword came from His mouth. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. But He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First [to fulfill God purpose] and the Last, [ there will not be another Christ] the Living One. I was dead, and behold, now I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of Death and of Hades.
Therefore write down the things you have seen, and the things that are, and the things that will happen after this. This is the mystery of the seven stars you saw in My right hand and of the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
So we know that the seven stars are angels, angles are spirits, so the seven spirts are the seven angles.
Revelation 1:4; “John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from Him who is and was and is to come, and from the seven Spirits before His throne,”
3:1; “ To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of the One who holds the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation for being alive, yet you are dead.”
4:5; “From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God.”
5:6. “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”
What we do come to understand from the references that mention the seven spirits, is that they are "held" by Jesus Christ, and that they are likened to seven lamps burning near, or in front of, God's throne. They are also said to be "sent out into all the earth" and they are equated with the "seven eyes" of the Lamb of God. So we do know that there are seven spirits that exist and that they have a function, they are “sent out into all the earth” and they serve as eyes to the Lamb which is Christ.
John seems to refer to them as a literal entity, similar to the angels or the cherubim. There are two views held today as to who or what the seven spirits are, one view is that they are angels of some kind fulfilling Gods commends. Another view takes a verse from Isaiah 11:2 and uses it to enumerate and name the seven spirits of God. Isaiah said: "And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord." Some scholars take this to possibly mean that the seven spirits of God are the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit Might, the Spirit of Knowledge, and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord."
However, if we are to view these seven spirits as just a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic of a person, then we lose the whole purpose and meaning of the book of Revelations.
When we read Revelations, we see that it is not speaking about the characteristics of a Christian, as many assume, but it is speaking of world shattering events that are going to take place, and these events are going to happen with God using these seven angles.
Revelations speaks of seven trumpets being given to angles; these are the seven spirits before the throne of God. Each angle, or spirit has a specific purpose in the plan of God.
The number seven is referenced more times in Scripture than any other number. It is usually used to designate wholeness or perfection in general [either of a physical or spiritual nature]. As such, it does not necessarily mean an exact number of something [Jesus obviously has more than this number of divine traits, characteristics, or gifts).
Revelation 4:5 “From the throne came flashes of lightning rumblings and peals of thunder, Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven Spirits of God.”
Revelation 5:6 “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it has been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He has seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.”
A common attempt to identify these seven Spirits is to correlate them with Isaiah 11:2: “And  the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,  the spirit of wisdom and  understanding,  the spirit of counsel and  might,  the spirit of knowledge and of  the fear of the Lord.”
However, great difficulty is encountered when linking Isaiah to Revelation. The capitalization in Revelation causes people to conclude that the seven Spirits are actually the Holy Spirit. While it is true that the Holy Spirit is often capitalized in the English Bible (that is, “Spirit”), there are some exceptions. Isaiah 11:2 (quoted earlier) contains one such exception "the spirit of the Lord" is the Holy Spirit. They are not seven “Holy Spirits.” It is very import to note that neither Isaiah 11:2 nor the Holy Spirit are under discussion in the Revelation passages.
Revelation 1:4 says these seven Spirits send forth a message of grace and peace. They are living entities, beings, not inanimate or nontangible concepts such as the last six “spirits” of Isaiah 11:2. They are called “the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne” in Revelation 4:5. Such could not be true of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, and knowledge of the fear of the LORD. Again, the seven Spirits in the Book of Revelation are creatures of some kind, individuals with radiant bodies like burning fire see angels described as such in Hebrews 1:7 and Psalm 104:4.
Revelation 5:6 says they are, “seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”
Before John the Apostle wrote the Book of the Revelation, the Old Testament had already spoken of “seven” special “Spirits.” The capitalization signifies they are not ordinary beings or common angels. They are unique angelic creatures, evidently having a distinctive purpose in God’s plan. They are called “the watchers.” In Daniel 4:17: “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.”
Zechariah 4:10: “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice,and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.” (This end-time Book links to Revelation—the Second Coming of Christ.)
2 Chronicles 16:9: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.”
Many we grow in grace and understanding of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ
The seven spirits of God – Who or what are they?
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
One thing that we all know and understand is that three days and the three nights equals a 72 hour period, Jesus himself understood a day's length as mentioned in John 11:9: "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" so from this information we can safely assume that a night is also a twelve hour long period and together a day and night equal 24 hours. So It is no stretch of intellect to figure that three days and three nights total 72 hours.
Jesus said He would be in the grave for the same amount of time Jonah was in the fish's belly, a total of 72 hours. In John 2:19, He makes a similar statement in response to the Jews requesting a sign of His messiahship: "Destroy this temple [His body, verse 21], and in three days I will raise it up."
Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. “
So the question we need to ask is, if Matthew 12:40 literally means three days and three nights then the crucifixion cannot be on Friday, as many assume and teach. Some say rather than a literal three days it is an old idiom referring to the two days prior to the day being spoken of. I have found nothing to substantiate this view. The Friday crucifixion is the most widely held view due to the traditional celebration of Easter. So, with the information we have we need to ask did the crucifixion actually take place on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday?
In order to make the most informed estimate, we need to examine the Sabbath. The original Hebrew word "Shabbath" is defined as: an intermission, the day of rest, the holy seventh day; a week Leviticus 23:15 Deuteronomy 16:9; Matthew 28:1 the sacred seventh year, a sabbatical year.
Leviticus 23:1-4 speaks about the “weekly sabbath," that day set aside each week to honor the Lord. Verse 3 "...but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation: you shall do no servile work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings."
However, the mistake that is made in calculating the three days and three nights that Christ was in the grave is the uses of the weekly sabbath, but the weekly sabbath are not the only sabbaths. Besides the weekly sabbaths there are the High Sabbaths related to the Hebrew Feasts (or Festivals), described in
Leviticus 23:4-44. “These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the Lord: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work.” Read Leviticus 23:4-8
For example, the verses above speak of two feasts, Passover and Unleavened Bread. Passover starts on the 14th day of Nisan (Hebrew month) and lasts one day. The Feast of Unleavened Bread starts the next day (the 15th of Nisan) and lasts for seven days.
It is important to note that the Passover is not a High Sabbath day, this important fact is often overlooked. You can tell because the usual command for a sabbath of "an holy convocation and no servile work is to be done," is not given for Passover. So, while Passover is a feast day, it is not a sabbath day. "Why is that important?" It was on this day Jesus did the work of redemption. Servile work would have been unlawful on a Sabbath day, so God ordained for this day to be a festival, remembering the lamb's blood that caused the angel to "Passover" the Israelites in Egypt and pointing to the Lamb who would shed His blood for all mankind. Another important feast day is not considered a High Sabbath day, the Feast of First Fruits. This is the day of Jesus' resurrection. The feast of First Fruits takes place on the 16th of Nisan, 2 days after Passover begins on the twilight of the 14th. The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins on the 15th of Nisan and ends on the 21st, seven days later. Therefore on the 16th of Nisan, both First Fruits and Unleavened Bread are celebrated.
The Lord set forth two sabbath days each for the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles. Leviticus 23:7-8 tells us that both the first and seventh (last) day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is an holy convocation and to do no servile work therein. Leviticus 23:35-36 states the same for the Feast of Tabernacles. As you go through the remaining feasts you will see the same instruction. Understanding the sabbath days is an important clue to knowing which day Christ died and rose.
Remember what Christ said in Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Jesus said three days and three nights. There is absolutely no way to get three days and three nights from Friday to Sunday. The thing that we as gentiles have forgotten is that a Jewish day starts at sunset rather than midnight. So, let’s look at what we come up with
Day 1 = Friday before Sunset
Night 1 = Friday sunset - Saturday sunrise
Day 2 = Saturday sunrise - Saturday sunset
Night 2 = Saturday sunset - Sunday sunrise
Day 3 = Sunday sunrise - resurrection
If we assume Jesus rose from the dead after sunrise on Sunday, which is not stated as such in the Scriptures (the Scriptures merely state that Mary Magdalene went to the tomb right after sunrise), there are still only two nights. There is no way to get three nights in this scenario. To dogmatically choose this position of crucifixion on Friday and Resurrection on Sunday is to choose a position contrary to Jesus' own prophecy.
So let’s take a look at a Thursday crucifixion. This would certainly add the additional night we need to fulfill Jesus' prophecy, but it raises a problem with the days because you have to count partial days for either the crucifixion or resurrection, but not for both. The partial days problem can be argued successfully but not conclusively because, as stated earlier, all we are told about the resurrection is that Jesus arose on the day after the weekly sabbath. This could be anytime from Saturday just after sunset to the point where Mary Magdalene saw Him, after sunrise. I don’t believe that God wanted us to count partial days.
The best possible argument is for a Wednesday crucifixion if you don't count partial days ( knowing that Jesus died at 3:00 p.m., you don't count the three hours of Wednesday as a full 12 hour day). The scenario would be as follows:
Day 0 = Wednesday 3:00pm - sunset
Night 1 = Wednesday sunset - Thursday sunrise
Day 1 = Thursday sunrise - Thursday sunset
Night 2 = Thursday sunset - Friday sunrise
Day 2 = Friday sunrise - Friday sunset
Night 3 = Friday sunset - Saturday sunrise
Day 3 = Saturday sunrise - Saturday sunset
Where do the churches of today come to the decision that the crucifixion was on a Friday? from
Mark 15:42-43 “Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.”
What is assumed since it was the day before the sabbath, that it meant Friday. Here is where our background on the sabbath sheds some light. We know that the crucifixion was on the Passover, so it was automatically the day before a sabbath no matter what day it was on, because the High Sabbath day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was the next day. Again, no matter what day Passover was on, the next day was automatically a sabbath.
Holding to a Friday crucifixion really is at odds with Scripture. Scripture does say that it was the Feast of First Fruits when He arose, so we know that the resurrection was sunset Saturday. Therefore, using Jesus' own words we conclude it was a Wednesday crucifixion
What we do know is that it occurred on Passover as a model of the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb, and that He rose again on the Feast of First Fruits, since He is the First Fruit of the resurrection
We have already shown that Jesus rose at some point in time on the 17th of the month Nisan and that for other scriptures to agree it must have been between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on that day. We can narrow the time down even more when we see that Jesus had to be buried for three whole days. We do not know the exact time of his burial, but we can estimate it from the following facts.
(1) He died around 3 p.m. in the afternoon Matthew 27:46-50.
(2) The Jews sought Pilate to break the legs of those on the cross, and the soldiers broke the legs of the two robbers and pierced the side of Jesus with a spear John 19:31-37.
(3) After this, Joseph of Arimathӕa went and asked for the body of Jesus at evening time Matthew 27:57-58; Mark 15:42-43; Luke 23:50-52; John 19:38
(4) The centurion then had to go and check if Jesus was dead, and report back to Pilate Mark 15:44-45.
(5) Joseph and Nicodemus then took the body, wrapped it up with spices John 19:39-40, and took it and laid it in the tomb, and rolled a stone across the door Matthew 27:59-60;** Mark 15:46; John 19:41-42.
(6) It was still the day of the Passover when he was buried Luke 23:54; John 19:42.
(7) While he was being buried the women watched how he had been laid Luke 23:55.
The next day, on the feast day, the 15th Nisan, the priests and Pharisees came to Pilate Matthew 27:62 and requested the tomb to be sealed, and Pilate gave orders to do it Matthew 27:64.
(9) The next day, after the feast day Sabbath, that is the 16th Nisan, the women disciples bought spices Mark 16:1, and went and prepared them, and rested on the weekly Sabbath which followed, which was 17th Nisan Luke 23:56, the day he rose from the dead.
We can assume from all of this that it was very late on the day of the Passover (14th of Nisan) when Jesus was buried, probably between 5 and 6 p.m. He had to be buried for at least three days and three nights, that is, 72 hours. We have already shown that he must have risen on the 17th of Nisan, so it was probably between 5 and 6 p.m. on that day, which was the weekly Sabbath day.
Which makes Three days and three nights
Many we grow in grace and understanding of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
The Three Days and the Three Nights
The thing that we need to know in order to win in battle is to know your enemy, and the one thing that is not being spoken much of is who our enemy really is. Many of us do not fully grasp the reality of a spiritual world but make no mistake it is real. God created everything that is visible and invisible. Colossians 1:16 “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.”
2 Corinthians 4:4 “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”
The archangel Lucifer
Satan is a thief and a liar. He gained dominion through deceit. Satan used the snake to trick the woman 1Timothy 2:14, “and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” and Adam just went along with it. Satan was not the snake. Satan was able to trick the woman and the man into thinking that they would perhaps be greater or equal to God. We may think today that it is the Politicians that are causing the problems in the world with their policies but that is not really true, it is however the influence that Satan has over the leaders that is the cause of our problems that the leaders are not even aware of.
When we read the phrase “god of this world” (or “god of this age”) in the word of God, it indicates that Satan is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His influence encompasses the whole world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions. Satan is also called the "prince of the power of the air" in Ephesians 2:1-5. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved;”
There are only two angels named in Scripture: Michael and Gabriel. Michael is the only angel called an Archangel or “chief angel”. In many places we read of “an angel” without any identification but it seems these two angels have a special role to play in the service of God. Satan (Lucifer) was originally an “anointed cherub” and drew one third of the angels of heaven after him when he exalted himself in pride attempting to exalt himself above the throne of God. Michael is always seen as a defender of God, His throne, and His people Israel, whereas Gabriel is said to “stand in the presence of God” and is always seen communicating prophetic messages to God’s servants.
When Moses died God buried him in a secret location to prevent the people from making a god of him or using his grave as a place of idolatry. Satan “disputed about the body of Moses” and it was Michael who “contended” with the Devil Jude 1:9 “But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
When Daniel was seeking God in prayer for His people, Gabriel was sent by God, but he was hindered for 21 days by one of Satan’s demon princes appointed over the kingdom of Persia. Gabriel was only able to reach Daniel because, as he said, “Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me” Daniel 10:13. “But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” Remember we are not talking about a human king here, but Satan. Satan was the prince of the Persian Kingdom.
Michael is described as the “the great prince which standeth for the children of thy (Daniel’s) people” Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered.” This is speaking of an event that has not yet happened but is in the works today that will lead to this events fulfillment, and as Israel’s “prince” Daniel 10:21 “but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.)
During the Tribulation with is coming upon the world, Michael will be very active defending repentant Israel as Daniel states: Daniel 12:1. “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people-everyone whose name is found written in the book-will be delivered.”
Michael is the guardian angel of the nation of Israel.
Surely if God has given Michael the Archangel the task of watching over Israel it must indicate how important Israel is in the entire plan of God to restore the earth to Divine management and to complete the work of redemption.
Gabriel has an entirely different role for each time he appears in Scripture he is communicating a message from God to His servants. He appeared to Zacharias as he offered incense in the Temple at Jerusalem saying:
Luke 1:19. “The angel said to him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”
The good news was that Elizabeth would have a special son, John the Baptist, who would be a prophet of the Lord and come in the spirit and power of Elijah to announce the coming of Messiah. It was six months later that Gabriel appeared to Mary in Galilee and informed her that she would conceive by the Holy Spirit and her child would be “the Son of the Highest” sitting upon the throne of David and “of his kingdom there shall be no end” Luke 1:32-33.
Lucifer was given the role of "ruler of this world" in John 12:31. “Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out.”
So, when the Bible says that Satan is the "god of this world," it is not saying that he has ultimate authority. It is conveying the idea that Satan rules over the unbelieving world in a specific way. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
The unbelievers follows Satan’s agenda: "The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ." Satan’s scheme includes promoting false philosophies in the world, philosophies that blind the unbeliever to the truth of the Gospel. Satan’s philosophies are the fortresses in which people are imprisoned, and they must be set free by Christ.
One example of a false philosophy is the belief that man can earn God’s favor by a certain act or acts. In almost every false religion, meriting God’s favor or earning eternal life is a predominant theme. Earning salvation by works, however, is contrary to biblical revelation. Man cannot work to earn God’s favor; eternal life is a free gift Ephesians 2:8-9. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
And that gift is available through Jesus Christ and Him alone John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
You may ask why mankind does not simply receive the gift of salvation John 1:12. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”
The answer is that Satan the god of this world has tempted mankind to follow his pride instead. Satan sets the agenda, the unbelieving world follows, and mankind continues to be deceived. It is no wonder that Scripture calls Satan a liar John 8:44 “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Matthew 4:8-9 “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Yes, God gave Satan this power to be ruler of this earth, otherwise he could not have offered Jesus at the temptation, but it is important to notice the words of Luke 4:6. “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me.” Satan is not the ultimate authority in the world, it was given to him, By whom? God. Satan doesn’t have ultimate power. We should not think that there’s God and Satan duking it out for power in the universe. God is God, not Satan. Satan’s not God. All Satan’s power is by permission. He has no autonomy to do anything God does not permit for infinitely wise purposes.
We see that Satan was given permission to afflict Job. The Lord said to Satan in Job 1:12, “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.’ So, Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.” All his acts of opposition to God and God’s people are part of God’s plan as he gives Satan permission to exercise tremendous power in this world.
Satan's power is over all the nations of the earth. Satan has influenced men in such a way that they are not even aware that they are being influenced toward evil. His power is so extensive that he is over all the nations of the earth. Jesus calls him the ruler of this world John 14:30. “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me” He affects people's attitudes by moving our reasoning processes toward satisfaction of the self. He gives disinformation and stirs up our spirit.
It is not evil for one to take care of himself. What is evil is to make the satisfaction of the self-more important than God. We are to serve God before all else (the great commandment), and the second is like it—we are on an equal par with others physically. Nowhere are we given the right or privilege by God to make ourselves greater than or more important than God or other human beings.
Satan’s World System
1 John 2:15-16 “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. “
John is not telling Christian “Do not love the world”, meaning the physical planet. By telling us not to love the world-system, originated with Satan and consists of those philosophies and values that perpetually influence humanity to think and behave contrary to God and His Word. The world-system is mankind and society functioning without God. It is first and foremost a way of thinking about life that is contrary to the biblical way or divine viewpoint.
The world we live in, today and the world of the pre flood was and is now functioning apart from God, this system embraces its godless governments, conflicts, armaments, jealousies, its education, culture, religions of morality, and pride. It is that sphere in which man lives. It is what he sees, what he employs. To the uncounted multitude it is all they ever know so long as they live on this earth. It should be properly referred to as The Satanic System. Satan’s world system is a spiritual darkness that envelopes and permeates the human race, influencing every aspect of thought and behavior in such a way that the depraved nature of man is magnified while God is excluded. Satan’s system is a buffet that offers something for everyone who rejects God, whether he is moral or immoral, religious or irreligious, educated or simple, rich or poor. Satan is careful to make sure there’s even something for the Christian in his world-system, which is why the Bible repeatedly warns the believer not to love the world or the things in the world. We are to be set apart Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
James. 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
James 4:4 “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
1 John 2:15-16. "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Farther but is from the world"
The current world system is the Christian’s enemy because it represents an anti-God system, a philosophy that is diametrically opposed to the will and plan of God. It is a system headed by the devil and therefore at odds with God 2 Corinthians 4:4. “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Likewise, the world hates the believer who lives for Christ John 17:14. “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
The Lord never kept this a secret from his own. He told them often of the coming conflict with the world John 15:18-20; “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.”
2 Tim. 3:1-12. "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted",
Though we live in the world we are not to be a part of it.
Jesus came as the Light of God’s revelation and salvation into Satan’s hostile world system, yet the majority of those who personally witnessed Christ rejected Him, because they John 3:19 “loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil”. Man is depraved to the core of his being, and that depravity is most manifest in the life of the person who has excluded God and His Word from having any say over his life. The worldly person makes no room in his life for God, and is often hostile to those who do, Satan’s sway in this world is terrible and vast. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Has Christian we have the power of the Cross, to deliver us. By the death of Christ Satan was defeated
Colossians 2:13–15. “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
So, we see that Satan’s one damning weapon against God’s elect is taken out of his hand. There is no unforgiven sin anymore.
So, when Christ died for our sins, and nailing our record of debt to the cross, he disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame by triumphing over them in him. He disarmed them by nailing our record of debt to the cross, because Satan’s power is that he’s a great accuser. So, if Satan has nothing in his court folder as he stands before the God to accuse us, what’s he going to do? He becomes powerless in this courtroom because our record of debts has been canceled. His one damning weapon against God’s elect is taken out of his hand. There is no unforgiven sin anymore. We’re forgiven. So, what’s he going to condemn? Nothing.
Christians face real struggles as Satan’s world system seeks to press him or her into its mold, demanding conformity, and persecuting them when he does not bend to its values. The world-system not only has human support but is backed by demonic forces of spiritual darkness that operate in collaboration with Satan. Scripture tells us in Ephesians 6:12“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” .The battlefront is more than what is seen with the human eye, but also encompasses that which is unseen. Whether visible or invisible, the battleground finally rests in the believer’s mind, for what he thinks determines how he lives. If the Christian thinks biblically, then he will make right decisions on a regular basis to live for God. However, if the Christian chooses to think like the world around him, then he’s defeated and becomes a spiritual casualty.
As Christians living in the world, we are to be careful not to be taken Colossians2:8 “captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ”.
' We must Realize the battleground is the mind, we are to think biblically in everything, which is our only safeguard against the enemy.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
May we grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ
Many today believe that all churches are right, and it does not really matter which church one goes to. They express their faith by saying,God has saved people in all churches, and it is up to the individual in each church to be sincere in his worship and accept Jesus as his personal Savior. They also say, God has His children in all denominations therefore all churches are the same. Revelation 18:4 "Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her,My people, so that you will not share in her sins or contract any of her plagues." Jeremiah 51:45 "Come out of her, My people! Save your lives, each of you, from the fierce anger of the Lord"
Come out of her can also refer to the churches of today.
Although these statements are made by well know preachers, “pastors,” and members of various denominations. Do these statements hold true from a Biblical point of view? We read in Hebrews 3:15. As it has been said: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as you did in the rebellion.”
Before going on it is important to understand what is a Church? We must first know what the word “church” means. “Church” is a translation of the Greek word ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia). Greek is the language in which the New Testament was first written. Ἐκκλησία means “a called-out assembly,” “a congregation.” It refers to God’s people who are called out of the world into fellowship with Him. Acts 26:16-18 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love”
I Peter 2:9-10 "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy."
The church is God’s redeemed people. Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
Titus 2:14 “who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
I Peter 1:18-19 “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
It is a holy nation I Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” Members of the church are citizens of a heavenly kingdom Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love”
The church is part of God’s eternal purpose in Jesus Christ Ephesians 3:8-10 “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places” When Jesus said: “I will build my church,” He meant to establish His redeemed people who would be a holy nation, citizens of his heavenly kingdom. Matthew 16:18. “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” It is Jesus Christ Himself that established His church, that means that no man on earth has a right to establish a church. Jesus said: Matthew 15:13 “But he answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father planted not, shall be rooted up.” In Psalm 127:1 we read “Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it”
So since no man has a right to establish any church, it follows that only in the church which Jesus established is salvation to be found. When Jesus promised, “I will build my church,” He was promising to build one church, not many. This one church began in Jerusalem on the first Pentecost day after His resurrection. Three thousand people heard the gospel. They believed and were baptized and the Lord added them to His church Acts 2:36-38 42,47 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. ”Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” “ And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” . “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
It is Jesus Christ that is the Saviour of His body, which is the church. Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Jesus meant for His church to continue and to overcome all opposition. It was to go to the whole world Matthew 8:19-20; Mark 16:15-16. But he intended for His church to be one John 17:20-21. Not many. He intended that all believers should be of the same mind and the same judgment I Corinthians 1:10 “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”
Jesus said: “and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” No man can bring any truth today except that which is revealed in the Bible. The word of God has everything needed for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness II Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. Speaking to the Father, Jesus said: “thy word is truth” John 17:17. We must measure a church by the Word of God to see if it is the true church of Christ!
Please note the following:
The church which did not begin in Jerusalem is not the true church Acts 2:5 “And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven”.
Isaiah 2:1-2 “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.”
Micah 4:1-2 “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say,“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.”For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
The church which sprinkles or pours water instead of immersing or dipping in water for baptism cannot be the Lord’s church. Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life”. Baptism represents a death, and to be sprinkled with water is not a death.
Acts 8:38-39 “So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing”.
The church which requires its members not to eat certain foods is not the church of God. I Corinthians 8:8 “But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse”. I Timothy 4:1-5 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer”.
The church which calls its preachers “Reverend” or “Father” cannot be the body of Christ. Matthew 23: 9-12 “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The church which baptized babies and little children cannot be the church which the Lord built. Only those old enough to hear, believe, repent, and confess Christ can be baptized. Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Romans 10:8-10 “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Acts 2:37-38 “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
So according to the word of God the Lord has one true church and He is only going to save those in His one true church. The Lord’s one true church does not include any of the false denominational churches. In Matthew 16:18 we read where Jesus says, "I will build My church". Whose church? Christ's church, the church of Christ. Jesus does not say "churches", but "church". The word "church" is singular, meaning one and only one and the word "My" is possessive, meaning it belongs only to Christ. Jesus Christ did not die for or establish any of the more than 600 different false denominational churches, which men have begun during the past 500 years.
All of these false denominational churches were established by men hundreds of years after Christ established His one true church. All of the many denominations are evil counterfeit creations of Satan and have no Bible authority to exist. Just as counterfeit money is worthless, all denominational churches are worthless counterfeit imitations of Satan. None of the hundreds of different denominations belong to Christ, but they all belong to Satan. Denominationalism is horribly sinful and stands in opposition to the will of Christ as stated in the His word.
According to the word of God, Christ is only going to save those in His one body, which is His one church. If one expects to be saved, one must be in the Lord's one body, His one true church, and not in any of the many man-made denominational churches. Those in the more than 600 different kinds of denominations don’t realize they are still lost, but they will realize it on Judgment Day when the Lord will say Matthew 7:23 "declare to them, 'I never knew you, depart from Me you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 8:12 and they "shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" it will be too late then.
Acts 2:47 says "And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved". The Lord only adds the saved to His one body, which is His one church. Since those in denominational churches do not believe the Lord's requirement, that baptism is necessary for one to be saved, they remain unsaved. And since the Lord does not add unsaved people to His one church, the unsaved have to go and join a denomination.
Psalms 127:1 says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it". I personally believe that this web page would fall into this category, unless this webpage has God's blessing it will never amount to much.
Those in all the denominations are all laboring in vain. Satan has been very successful in fooling people in getting them to join one of his many counterfeits denominational churches of their choice. Those in denominational churches have "already turned aside after Satan" 1 Timothy 5:15. “For some have already turned aside after Satan.” All the hundreds of different kinds of denominations all belong to Satan. None of the denominational churches belong to Christ.
Jesus says, in Matthew 15:13 “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted". At the end of time all of the many denominational churches will all be uprooted. The denominational doctrines and commandments of men are all vain and useless. The many false vain doctrines and creeds of men with all their man-made conflicting beliefs have become enemies of the Lord and His word in the Bible. Christ only has His one church "which He purchased with His own blood" Acts 20:28. The church of Christ was purchased with the precious blood of Christ. The one church that Christ purchased with His own blood belongs to Him and the name it wears must honor and glorify Him. Colossians 1:18 says concerning Christ that, "He is the head of the body, the church". Christ is the head of only His one body, which is His one church. Also, we read in Ephesians 5:24 that "the church is subject to Christ", and not to the many creeds and false teachings of men. Jesus says, in Matthew 24:11 "And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray" No one is a Christian until he/she does what the New Testament says we must do to become a Christian. The word of God warns us, in 2 Timothy 3:13 “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived". There is so much false doctrine being taught in the world today, that people are so confused and don’t know what to believe. We are warned in Hebrews 13:9, "Do not be carried about by various and strange doctrines". The denominations all have their different and opposing false doctrines and creeds, different plans of salvation, different kinds of worship, different organizations, and different teachings about Heaven and Hell, and many other false doctrines. All denominations are the result of the many departures from the teaching of the Bible. Denominationalism is unscriptural since each denomination has its own human founder, and not Christ.
Denominationalism is plagued with division, conflicting creeds and doctrines, unscriptural worship and other practices; all of which are different from what God has authorized and commanded in the Bible. They are doing man's will and not God's will; thus God will not save any of them in their folly. People are charged in 1 Timothy 1:3, "that they teach no other doctrine", other than the word of God as found in the Bible. This is what Satan wants.
Jesus asks, in Matthew 15:3 "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?" The religious traditions of men violate the word of God and are sinful. We must not let men take the truth of God away from us by adding to, taking from, twisting it, perverting it. The word of God says, in Titus 1:10-11 "For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.” People become bewildered and confused with the many conflicting beliefs of the denominations and don't know what to believe. The many perversions of the denominational churches have also made infidels out of many people.
Denominational churches are as we read in " Ephesians 4:14 “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men in cunning craftiness". From where did all of these different and conflicting teachings come: God or man? 1 Corinthians 14:33 says, "God is not the author of confusion" but man is. 2 John 7 "For many deceivers have gone out into the world". Romans 1:25 says they are those, "Who changed the truth of God into a lie" by their false teaching. Those who promote these counterfeit faiths try to appear as though they are presenting the truth. People do this by 2 Corinthians 4:2. "walking in craftiness" and "handling the word of God deceitfully" We are warned in Ephesians 5:6, "Let no man deceive you". But today there are many, many people who are being deceived with the false doctrines of denominationalism. Each denominational church is as good as all of the other denominational churches, because they are all worthless imitation counterfeits of Satan. The church of Christ contains only those who are saved Acts 2:47 and are in Christ Galatians 3:27. All those outside the Lord’s one church are all lost in their different denominations. The saved are those who have been reconciled Ephesians 2:16 "to God in one body", by being 1 Corinthians 12:13 "baptized into one body". Only those who are in the Lord’s one true church have been reconciled to God.
May you grow in the grace and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Only One Is the True Church of Christ
I realize that this is a very big subject and can’t fully be covered in this writing, but I hope that want is presented here will shed light on the truth of what word of God has to say on this matter. I also hope that it is written in a way that makes its understanding clear.
For the entire existence of mankind, mankind has been struggling with this question, “What happens after death?” Some believe that whether or not we exist after death is something that cannot be proven.
Sadly even within the Christian faith, there is a significant amount of confusion regarding what happens after death. Some hold that after death, everyone “sleeps” until the final judgment, after which everyone will be sent to heaven or hell. Others believe that at the moment of death, people are instantly judged and sent to their eternal destinations. Still others claim that when people die, their souls/spirits are sent to a “temporary” heaven or hell, to await the final resurrection, the final judgment, and then the finality of their eternal destination.
Atheists believe that at death one ceases to exist. There is no afterlife or eternal soul that continues in eternity. All there is to look forward to is our inevitable death, the future death of mankind, and the universe.
My argument to the Atheist for this view is that this position is indefensible. A person would have to be “all knowing” (omniscient), and “all present” (omnipresent) to be able to say from their own knowledge that there is no God. How can a person who has limited knowledge, living in a small point in time claim to know without doubt that God does not exist? Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”
The Eastern and New Age religions that hold to a pantheistic worldview teach that one goes through an endless cycle of reincarnation until the cycle is broken and the person becomes one with the divine. What form a person becomes in the next life depends on the quality of life lived in the previous life. When one unites with the divine, he ceases to exist as an individual, but becomes part of the divine life force. There are now an array of practices that are becoming common in many churches today, such as yoga, meditation including mindfulness, and contemplative prayer, as well as New Age views of Jesus, and the concepts of pantheism and panentheism. God tells us in Psalm 81:9 “Let there be no strange god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god.” John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Those who hold to the animistic or tribal religions believe that after death the human soul remains on the earth or travels to join the departed spirits of the ancestors in the underworld, also called the realm of the shadows. Animism is the belief that all things have a spirit or soul, including animals, plants, rivers, mountains, stars, the moon, and the sun. Each being is considered a spirit that can offer help or harm to humans. As such, spirits must either be worshiped or appeased. Animists offer sacrifices, prayers, dances, or other forms of devotions to these spirits in hopes of blessing upon areas of life (crops, health, fertility, etc.) or for protection from harm. Some of the spirits of the deceased may be called upon to aid or torment those on earth. Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.”
In Isaiah 43:10 we read “You are my witnesses,” says the Lord, “my servant whom I have chosen so that you may consider and believe in me and understand that I am he. No god was formed before me, and none will outlive me. He condemns the use of magic, witchcraft, and divination. He shows that suffering is not the result of the spirits or the gods but His sovereign act of bringing people back to Himself. We read in Deuteronomy 18:10 “There must never be found among you anyone who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, anyone who practices divination, an omen reader, a soothsayer, a sorcerer” Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Islam teaches that at the end of history, God will judge the works of all men. Those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds will enter paradise. The rest will be consigned to hell. The Koran teaches that in paradise men will be drinking wine and entertained by heavenly maidens and that they may take several of these maidens for their wives. But in Matthew 22:30 it says “In the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage. Instead, they will be like the angels in heaven.”
Most worldviews must accept their belief in the afterlife on untested faith, a faith made up by mans wisdom, and not based on the word of God. Man’s religion destroys the relationship with God, man’s religion puts man before God. Man is a created being. Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
1 Corinthians 1:29 “That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
The Christian hope is sure for two reasons: the resurrection of Christ and the testimony of God’s Word. The word of God gives us the true view of what happens after death. However, many Christians have a misunderstanding of the afterlife. Some believe that they become one of the angels, others believe they go into a state of “soul sleep,” while others believe they will be floating on clouds playing harps. The reason for this lack of understanding is many Christians don’t ask God, but relay on men teaching them. James 1:5, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
The truth is death is not a permanent situation, because death has lost its sting and now is a victory through the resurrection of Jesus our Lord as 1 Corinthians 15:55 teaches “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting”.
First, we must understand where man came from and we read that in Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Because of Adams sin God cursed the ground Genesis 3:17-19 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” In Ecclesiastes 12:7 we read “And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.” King Solomon’s statement in Ecclesiastes 3:21 where he said, “the breath of man ascends upward” at death, tells us that God takes back that breath He gave us.
It is important to know that the Hebrew word that is translated as “breath” in Ecclesiastes 3:21 is the same Hebrew word that is translated as “spirit” in Ecclesiastes 12:7. So, this Hebrew word ruah can be translated as “breath” or “spirit.” It is important to know that Genesis 2:7 translates ruah as “breath.” So, it says, “breath of life.”
Genesis 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living soul” So, the breath of life that God gave Adam is what He gives all mankind, and it is the Breath of life that God takes back. We have been taught that we have a soul that departs upon death, yet God tells us that it is man himself that is a soul. “And the man became a living soul” We die because of our sins. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So, we see that God created everything, that God created man from the dust of the ground, and when man dies, that breath of life God gave man is returned to Him. We come to see that death is consided by God as a sleep. 1 Thessalonians 4:13“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” God views our death as a time of sleep since we will one day be resurrected. Matthew 27:52 ‘The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,” Death is like a sleep
What happens next? We read in Hebrews 9:27 “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,” So man die’s than waits in the grave for the time of the resurrection when he will be judged. This judgement comes at Christ return. Revelation 22:12 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done.” The truth is that God wants no one to die. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. God’s wants everyone who was born to live forever, but God gave each of us free will to chose between life and death.
We read in 1 Corinthians 15:53-55 “For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” So Gods plan is to “change” everyone, that we will no longer die, “perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality” our moral bodies will put on immortality, there is an indication in this verse that we will still have the same bodies we had before death, but it will be changed from flesh and blood which is moral to something else that will be immortal.
Psalm 115:17 “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence.” In death there is no memory, we are not in heaven worshiping God, or looking down at our loved ones. Psalm 146:4 “When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.” Acts 2:29 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” This teaches that King David, a man after God own heart is still in the grave to this day, and not in heaven. David like everyone else who died is waiting in sleep to be resurrected.
1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Acts 2:34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand”
We all die and wait for the resurrection, we are blessed if we are part of the first resurrection, yes there are two resurrections. John 5:28 “Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice”
John 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. We all die and wait for the resurrection.
As I mentioned earlier Gods word speaks of two resurrections, the first resurrection occurs at Christ coming, the second one occurs a thousand years after the first, Christ will have already been ruling on earth. As we read in Revelation 20:4-6 and Revelation 20:11-15
Revelation 20:4-6 “Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. (Those who lived through the tribulation before Christ returns) They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” All those in the first resurrection have been found worthy to be “changed” and serve with Christ.
We also read in Revelation 20:11-15 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. (The second resurrection) Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” This is the time when all mankind who did not make it into the first resurrection will be judged, some to life and some to death.
Daniel 12:2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Matthew 25:46 “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” This is speaking of the second resurrection
Revelation 2:11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.” God is not speaking to the whole world here; He is just speaking to those in the church. Just going to Church does not mean one will be saved from the second death. One must fight hard against the pulls of the flesh and overcome.
Isaiah 25:8 “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.” In the end when Gods kingdom is at its full and complete fulfilment.
But after the thousand-year reign of Christ, those who were still in the grave because they did not make it into the first resurrection will be raised, and Satan who has been sealed up for those thousand years will also be loosed and Satan must once again be given freedom to deceive. After which for a “little while” he and his demons and the beast and false prophet were cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 19:20 “But the beast was captured along with the false prophet, who on its behalf had performed signs deceiving those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. Both the beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” Revelation 20:1-15 “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. (Christ was on earth during this thousand years) After that he must be released for a little while. Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.”
John 11:26 “And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” And Reign with Christ a thousand years
1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-57 “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 Thessalonians 4:14 “For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” Death is like a sleep
1 Thessalonians 4:15 “For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.” Death is like a sleep
1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” This is speaking of the first resurrection
Hebrews 9:27-28 “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Those who are Christ at His coming will be raised from the dead in the first resurrection
2 Peter 2:4 “For if God did not spare angels when they sinned but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;” Even the angels that sinned and followed Satan will be judged.
1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.” The first resurrection
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” This is not the rapture as some claim, that will take place before the tribulation, but this is the first resurrection at the return of Christ.
Revelation 20:4-6 “Then I saw thrones and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”
John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live”
1 Corinthians 15:26 “The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”
May we grow in grace and understanding of our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ
What happens after death?