“Bible Basics – Lesson 12”

Posted: December 12, 2017 in Bible Basics, Cults

 God The Son / The Lord Jesus Christ

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

There is a lot of confusion in the minds of many people concerning God the Son and the Lord Jesus Christ. One cult believes that God the Father was once a man like we are and then became a god who had a wife and produced a son named Jesus. He had a brother named Lucifer. Another cult believes that God the Father created God the Son who in turn created all other things. One religion says that God never had a son. What do you believe? Is your faith resting in the Christ of the Scriptures or in a false Christ (Matthew 7:21-23; 24:5)? Are you believing in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2)? Our eternal destiny in heaven or the lake of fire depends on what we believe and how we respond to God’s invitation and command to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and [then] we will be saved [forever] (Acts 16:31; 1Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Certain. Yes, before a Christian dies, he/she can have assurance of salvation and the promise of a home in heaven with God (John 3:16, 18, 36; 10:28, 29; Romans 8:16; 1 John 5:13). Do you know the difference between the believer’s security and his assurance?

God The Son. He Is Known As-

The Second Person in the Godhead. This, in no way, suggests that He is inferior to God the Father (John 10:30; Colossians 2:9). There must be some way to distinguish the Persons in the Godhead. The Holy Spirit is referred to as the third Person in the Godhead (See Matthew 28:19, 20). He doesn’t draw attention to Himself but to Christ (John 16:13, 14). There is one God who exists as three Persons.

The Angel of the Lord. From time to time, the pre-incarnate Son of God made visible appearances as the Messenger of the Lord to various people in the Old Testament times (Genesis 16:7-14; 22:11; John 8:58). These are called “theophanies” or “Christophanies” (See https://www.gotquestions.org/theophany-Christophany.html).

The Word. He was the One who agreed to be the Communicator for the Godhead to mankind. He was always face to face with God the Father even in eternity past (John 1:1, 2; Hebrews 1:2; 1 John 1:1). While He was here on earth, Jesus spoke what the Father wanted Him to say, and did the works that He saw the Father doing (John 5:17-20; 12:50). It wasn’t until the night before He was to be crucified that He gave His disciples a new commandment (John 13:34, 35) that stood in contrast to the Old Testament commandment (Leviticus 19:18). Do you know the difference between these two?

The Father of the AgesGod the Son is not to be confused with God the Father (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:2). “An age is an indefinite period of time in which God gives a specific revelation of Himself designed to relate a truth concerning His nature, desires, or antipathies, to His creatures. A dispensation is designed to reveal something about man to himself. Dispensations deal with rules for living for some or all of mankind. They are not different ways of salvation. Dispensations always end in failure and judgment.” – Taken from Dr. H. L. Schafer’s notes. So then, God the Son was the One who apparently decided what and when the Godhead would reveal certain things about themselves to their creatures. Ages preceded the seven dispensations (See our “Dispensations Chart) and they will go on after the last dispensation into eternity future (Ephesians 1:10). Heaven will never get boring because God will keep on revealing things about Himself to the believers who are in His presence (Ephesians 2:7).

The Prince of Peace.  The people of this world are desperately looking for peace on earth but it has eluded them thus far. God will allow sinful men to try to bring peace to earth without Him. This opportunity seems to be right around the corner. If God allowed this experiment to go on for more than seven years, no flesh on earth would survive (Matthew 24:22; See Daniel 9:27). After this horrific time in human history (Revelation 6-19), when over half of the world’s population will die, Christ will return to this earth and establish His millennial Kingdom of the heavens (Daniel 2:44, 45; Matthew 4:17). He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He will be the King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).

The “I AM.” God is the eternally existent One who has no beginning or ending (Exodus 3:14). Our finite minds can’t comprehend this truth but the Scriptures teach it. Jesus, while He was here on earth, referred to Himself as the “I AM” (John 8:58). Contrary to what some of the cults teach, Jesus claimed to share an absolute equality with God the Father.  This is why the hypocritical, scribes and Pharisees leaders wanted to kill Him (John 5:18; 7:1; See Mathew 23:13 ff).

The Head of the church. This took place when He ascended back to heaven and sat down at God the Father’s right hand (Ephesians 1:20, 21).  He is the only Head of the true Church (See 1 Peter 5:1). He is the One who gave spiritual gifts to Christians (Ephesians 4:11 ff; 1 Peter 4:10). Do you know what your gift is and are you using it with love (1 Corinthians 13)? (See http://kelseypeach.com/Feb_Update/Authority_In_The_Local_Church.pdf)

What The Scriptures Say About Jesus Christ

He was/is fully God.  He shares an absolute equality with God the Father (John 1:1;10:30) and possesses all the qualities (attributes) of God (Colossians 2:9).

He is the God-man. He added to Himself a true human nature and a real body (Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 10:5; 1 John 4:2). He has two natures in one person: Divine/human (John 11:17-44).

He was virgin born. This was predicted by the prophet (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). God implanted His seed in Mary (Luke 1:30-35). She is the mother of Christ’s humanity only, not “The Mother of God” (Luke 1:47).

He lived a sinless life. He was tempted as we are (Matthew 4:11; Luke 4:1-13). But He never yielded to sinful temptations (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15).

He performed miracles. The Apostle John recorded seven sign miracles to prove that Jesus was/is the Christ, the Son of God (John 2:1-11; 4:46-54; 5:1-18; 6:6-13,16-21; 9:1-7; 11:1-45; 20:31). He was the One who had created everything and He is the One who holds the molecules together (Colossians 1:16; See 2 Peter 3:11).

He died for our sins. He did this once and for all (1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 19:19). He died as the Just One for the unjust ones (1 Peter 3:18; See Romans 3:10-23; 6:23).

He rose again bodily on the third day. He had a body of flesh and bones, but one without blood (1 Corinthians 15:4, 50; Luke 24:36-43). He was seen by over 500 witnesses on ten different occasions (1 Corinthians 15:6). This proved that the believer’s sins are forgiven (Romans 4:25; See John 16:8-11).

He ascended back to heaven. It was public, gradual, and literal (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11). Currently He is interceding and mediating for believers at God the Father’s right hand (Hebrews 7:25; 1 Timothy 2:5). He is also the only Head of the true Church (Ephesians 1:22, 23).

He will return to earth. This will take place in two phases. First He will catch up His Bride, the true Church, to heaven (John 14:3; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:12-18). Seven years later Jesus will return to earth to establish the Kingdom of the Heavens on earth (Acts 1:11). He will rule as the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16; Matthew 24:30).

He will destroy death. He will do this by raising everyone who has died from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-26). The believers will live with God; Unbelievers will be separated from Him forever in the lake of fire (Daniel 12:1-13; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:11-15).

Application:  Merely knowing and believing these facts about the Lord Jesus Christ isn’t enough to save us. We must transfer our faith and trust from any and all our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9) over the the Person and work of Christ who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day. Have you done this yet? Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Do you believe that you have to go to Purgatory first? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what would it be?

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). We want to glorify God by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31). If this article has helped you, please let us know how it has. Then share it with others too. God comforts us so we can comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4). If you’re a Christian, determine with God’s help to bless others (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13). You can make a difference in other people’s lives.

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

Advertisements

You can/should be thankful if you grew up in a loving home with a father and mother and where Christ was honored and your parents modeled His love and the other parts of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22, 23). But sadly, many people never experienced this. You may have been verbally, physically, or sexually abused. You in turn may have mistreated your children or others as you were mistreated. Are you doomed to hell? Do you have to repeat this vicious cycle or can a change take place in your life and the lives of others? What does God’s Word tell us we need to do?

Forgiveness. We’ve all sinned [to a greater or lesser degree] and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As such, we all deserve to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels/demons (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:9). But because God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, took our place and died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, we can be judicially forgiven the moment we trust in Christ alone to save us (Ephesians 1:7; 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5). The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior (John 16:8-11). Have you placed your faith in Christ alone to save you? If not, why not trust Him now? Don’t boast about tomorrow (Proverbs 27:1; James 4:14).

Sin. What is sin? Among other things, it is lawlessness (1 John 3:4; Romans 14:23; James 4:17; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). What should all unsaved sinners do? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31; John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? What penalties are associated with sin? Physical and spiritual death (Romans 6:23; 13:1-7). What kind of people end up forever in the lake of fire? “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8). “…fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, [and] extortioners.” Do you fit into this group? Many of us did. Is there any way for us to get out of the devil’s family and into God’s family and be judicially forgiven (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10; Colossians 1:13; Ephesians 1:7). Yes! We can be when we get washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Has this happened to you?

Action. What should a Christian who has sinned against God and other people do if he/she wants to receive family forgiveness and be well pleasing to God (2 Corinthians 5:9; John 15:1-10)?

  1. Honest confession must be made to God first (1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:1-5; 51:1-19). Keep in mind that doing this may not keep a person from the penalty of the civil government (Romans 13:1-7). The government doesn’t always do what is right but they are accountable to God (See James 3:1; Romans 14:12; Matthew 23:13-36; Isaiah 1:26; 5:20; 10:1; 2 Timothy 4:8; Daniel 4:17, 25).
  2. Then, if possible, one needs to go to the offended party and seek forgiveness from that person (James 5:16). The offended party may or may not grant forgiveness to the perpetrator. But a Christian should forgive someone who asks for forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32; Matthew 18:22). If we don’t, we sin by yielding to the temptation from the devil to have an unforgiving and bitter spirit that will damage us (2 Corinthians 2:1-11; Hebrews 12:15; Matthew 18:34, 35).
  3. The perpetrator (i. e. the sinning Christian) should realize that even though God promises to forgive him when he makes honest confession, God doesn’t forget what he’s done because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; John 2:24, 25). But God won’t hold the sins he’s confessed against him (See Ezekiel 18:22; 33:16). Sometime in the future He will allow that person to be tempted in the same area to see how he/she will respond to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). The question is, Does the Christian love God more than the sinful pleasures of sin (James 1:12; Hebrews 11:25; 1 John 2:15-17)? Yes, there are pleasures to sin. Otherwise we wouldn’t engage in them.
  4. A Christian needs to learn how to overcome the sinful temptations that come from the devil (Ephesians 6:10-17), or from his/her own sin nature (Galatians 5:16-25; 1 John 1:8), or from the present world system (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:15-17). There are different tactics that must be used with each enemy. (See https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-enemies/).

The abused person. A believer who has suffered unjustly because of the sin of another person can/should commit his/her soul (emotions) to God and trust Him to work out a bad situation and bring something good from it (1 Peter 4:19; Romans 8:18, 28). Consider what God did for the patriarch Job after he was viciously mistreated by the devil and his friends (Job 1:1-2:13; 42:10-16). Notice how Joseph responded to his brothers who sold him into slavery (Genesis 50:20). Think about Christ’s suffering at the hands of cruel men that made our salvation possible (Acts 2:23). God holds you and me responsible for His death too (Acts 4:27). Our sins put Him on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:3; Isaiah 53:6). Perhaps you didn’t know this. If you’ve been wronged, you should go to the perpetrator (if he/she is a believer) and inform that person of the injustice that you believe has been committed against you. If reconciliation doesn’t take place this way, you should take two or three other believers with you and try to resolve the issue. If this doesn’t work, the matter should be brought before the local church and appropriate action taken (Matthew 18:15-35; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). By all means you should leave vengeance to God (Romans 12:19). God is just/righteous and will not allow sin to go without consequences that may seem severe to some people (See Hebrews 12:5 ff). We can count on Jesus, who will be the Judge of all men (John 5:22), to do what is right on judgment day (2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 20:11-15). Furthermore, the civil government may also take action against certain crimes. It has authority from God to take another person’s life in some cases (See Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7) Capital punishment is a deterrent to crime.

Unbelievers. These people, who rejected God’s offer of salvation (John 1:11, 12; 3:16, 18, 36), and natural revelation (Psalm 19:1; Romans1:18 ff) will be judged one day according to their works, not to determine their entering into heaven or not, but to determine the degree of suffering they will undergo in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; Matthew 25:30, 41, 46). No human being needs to go there. Christ’s death made provision for all men/women to be saved (1 John 2:2; 1 Timothy 4:10). It is God’s desire for sinners to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Sadly, most people will reject His offer of deliverance because they love darkness more than light (John 3:19). Have you received by faith the gift of eternal life from God (Romans 6:23; John 3:16, 18, 36)? If not, why not today?

Help. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Please share what you’re learning with teachable people who are willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15). Join us on Facebook Live and on Youtube for Bible studies.

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

When we sin (act lawlessly), what should we do?  It depends on whether you are a true Christian or not.  If you’re not a Christian, contrary to what you may have been told, it isn’t necessary for you to confess every single sin you’ve ever committed in your life before you can be saved.  In fact you can’t remember every sin (act of lawlessness) you’ve committed.  Everything you’ve done independently of God and all your self righteous acts are considered by God to be sin (See Proverbs 21:4; Isaiah 14:13, 14; 64:6; Romans 14:23; James 4:17).  You may not have known this fact.

Acknowledge.  Instead, you need to realize that you are a sinner like all the rest of us, and in need of a Savior (Romans 3:10-23; 6:23).  We believe that God the Holy Spirit convicts (thoroughly convinces) those whom the Father has given to the Son concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment after they have heard the unadulterated Gospel (John 16:8-11; 6:37, 44; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).  Much of what is being called “The Gospel” isn’t the true Gospel but a “different gospel” and/or another way of salvation (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15 ; See Acts 16:17).  (Please read “The Gospel” by Dr. Ron Shea.)

Unforgivable Sin.  The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, (not the false christs of the cults – Matthew 24:5).  Without Christ’s quality of righteousness we cannot enter heaven.  But since we all have sinned and are unrighteous, we’re all disqualified from entering heaven to spend eternity with God.  This is why we need Christ’s righteousness put to our account.  God causes this to happen when we believe in/on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.  He sees us as having acted right when we believe in/on Christ alone and count His death as our death, and His resurrection as our resurrection (Galatians 2:20; Romans 4:4, 16).  The Holy Spirit also convicts (convinces) these people of being judged and having to spend eternity with the devil and his angels/demons if they don’t believe in/on Christ alone to be saved (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10).  This truth will seem foolish to most unsaved people (1 Corinthians 1:20-31; 2:14).

Time.  These particular unsaved people (2 Peter 3:9) may not immediately place their faith in Christ but they will believe in/on Him before they die physically (Hebrews 1:14).  This sometimes is called “effectual calling” (John 6:37, 44).  If you’re saved, did you get saved the first time you heard the Good News concerning “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation”?  Most of us probably didn’t.

Christians.  If you are a true Christian who has been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone (not of your good works- Ephesians 2:8, 9), and you sin as a Christian, you don’t have to get saved all over again.  In fact, this is impossible (Hebrews 6:4).  Instead you need to honestly confess your known sins to God the Father (without making excuses or blaming others as Adam and Eve did – Genesis 3:8-13) so you can receive family forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  If you say that you have no sin nature that causes you to sin periodically, you are deceiving yourself, not others (1 John 1:8; See Romans 7:14-25).

Christians Don’t Have To Sin (1 John 2:1).  God has made every provision for His children so we don’t have to keep on sinning (2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 10:13).  If you think and say that you can’t sin once you’re saved (and some people say this), you are about to fall into sin (1 Corinthians 10:12, 13).  You don’t lose your sin nature when you get saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:14-25).  It’s still very much alive and most of the temptations to which we yield originate from our sin nature (disposition).  But if we walk by means of the Holy Spirit, we won’t fulfill the lusts (strong desires) that come from our sin nature (Galatians 5:16, 26).  Don’t blame the devil for every sin you commit.  His 14 temptations to sin are different from those that come from our sin nature and the present world system.  Do you know how to overcome these three spiritual enemies and live a victorious Christian life?  Are you teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16)? If so, we may be able to help you.

God Knows Everything.  He knows that we, as His children, will sin periodically (1 John 3:9, 10).  This is why we have an Advocate (Jesus Christ) along side the Father (1 John 2:1).  He ensures that we don’t lose our salvation when we sin (See John 10:28, 29; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30), and also maintains the Father’s integrity when the devil accuses His children of our sinful behavior on earth.  When we, as Christians, confess (name) our sins to God the Father, He grants to us family forgiveness (not judicial forgiveness that took place at the time of our salvation – Ephesians 1:7) and cleanses us from all the unrighteousness that led up to our sinning (1 John 1:9; See James 1:12-15).  Temptations are not sin, but yielding to them constitutes sin.  Believers can earn the “Crown of Life” for overcoming sin (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

Sin’s Effects.  It interrupts the Christians’ close relationship with God and causes us to grieve the heart of God (Ephesians 4:30).  When we sin we don’t abide (feel at ease with God) and He doesn’t feel at ease with us.  We don’t bear the spiritual fruit that we should (John 15:1-14).  Do you know that this fruit involves (See Galatians 5:22, 23; Colossians 1:10; 1 Corinthians 16:15; Hebrews 13:15; Philippians 4:17)?  Sin also keeps us from doing the desirous will of God for our lives (Romans 12:1, 2).  Without God’s power, we can do nothing to please God (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 8:8).

Confession.  Confessing our sins to God the Father (not to men unless we’ve sinned against them too – James 5:16) doesn’t automatically place us in fellowship with God the Father.  We must make the choice to walk in the light as He is in the light if we are to enjoy close fellowship with Him (1 John 1:7).  Are you abiding in Christ and bearing much spiritual fruit (John 15:8)?  Are you walking in the light?  If not, what needs to change?  Are you tired of suffering the painful consequences of sin that could lead to your premature physical death (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16, 17)?  Unconfessed sins in the life of a Christian can lead to severe disciplinary measures so we won’t be condemned later with the unsaved people of this world (Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30-32; Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

Freedom.  In Christ there is freedom to do as we ought to do rather than being in bondage to sin (Galatians 5:1; Romans 8:2).  We become the slaves of the one to whom we yield (Romans 6:14-23).  Whose servant are you?  Those Christians who make Christ the Master of their lives (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15) could have no better Master.  Have you done this yet?  This is not a condition for salvation as the “Lordship for salvation” people are teaching. (See below.)

Safety.  Being figuratively under “His wings” and under His care is the safest place we could possibly be (Psalm 91:4; 1 Peter 5:7).  Is this where you’d like to be?  Are you sure you’re saved?  Make sure (2 Peter 1:10). If you’re not, why not get saved today and gain assurance of it (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?  If you’re saved, have you wandered away from God and become carnal like the prodigal son (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; 5:1 ff; See Luke 15:11-32)?  Would you like to come back to the loving arms of your heavenly Father?  He’s waiting (Matthew 11:28). Why not do it right now?

Help.  If this articles has helped you, we’d like to hear from you and ask you to share this information with others who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If you’d like to receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  Join us on Facebook Live and on Youtube for our Bible studies.

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation. http://kelseypeach.com/goodnews.htm

Lordship For Salvation?  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

“Rating Your Father”

On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rate your father?  What do you like or dislike about him?  What caused you to feel the way you do about him?  What do you wish were different about your relationship with him?  What can/should you do to improve it so that both of you can be happier?  Have your thoughts about your human father been transferred over to God the Father?  What mental image do you have of God?  Does it line up with what the Scriptures have to say?  Who is your spiritual father – God or the devil?  Are you sure?  Who would others say your father is? What kind of a legacy will you leave for your children and grandchildren?

Depending on how old you are, you may or may not remember the song that came out in the early 1960s entitled “My Dog’s Bigger Than Your Dog.”  It’s about a little boy who is bragging about his dog, his dad, and his mother.  Today many people don’t brag about their dad because they don’t/didn’t have one in their lives.  Some people hate their dad or their mother.  Maybe you didn’t grow up with a dad or mom in your home.  Maybe you came from a broken or dysfunctional family.  Maybe you have half brothers and sisters.  Perhaps some of your siblings were aborted (murdered) by your parents while they were in your mother’s womb.  Maybe you don’t know or like to think about the 50 million babies in the United States that were murdered this way.  Maybe you had an abusive father whom you hate.  Your thoughts about your father may be very negative. On the other hand, you may have been privileged to come from a loving, two parent home where love was modeled in many ways.

Concepts.  Perhaps you’ve been led to believe that God the Father is an abusive, vindictive, hateful God with whom you want nothing to do.  Perhaps your view of Him has been tainted by the thoughts and words of acclaimed atheists (Psalm 14:1) like Richard Dawkins and others who call God all kinds of bad names and mock Christians who believe in the God of the Bible.  Maybe you’ve also adopted the theory of evolution as a fact because you want to try to escape the responsibility for your lawless behavior (John 3:19; Psalm 10:11; 1 John 3:4). After all, if you’re just an advanced animal, why not act according to your nature?  Maybe you don’t want anyone telling you how to live your life (Psalm 2). 

Antichrist.  But if you have such a rebellious attitude it could end up in your being deceived and subjugated voluntarily or involuntarily by the “Man of Lawlessness” known also as “the Antichrist” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).  With the world stage being set up as it is right now, our generation might be the one that sees him rise to power to rule over the whole world (Revelation 8:1; 13:1-18).  When he comes he will bring a temporary peace to this troubled world but it won’t last long before war breaks out and over half of the world’s population will die (Revelation 6:1-8; 9:14; Daniel 11:21, 34).  Those who refuse his mark (the mark of the beast – Revelation 13:18) won’t be able to buy or sell without it.

Cults.  Many of the cults have also contributed to a distorted view of God the Father.  The Mormons believe that God the Father was once a man like we are but eventually became a god.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God the Father (Jehovah) created God the Son (Jesus) who in turn created all others things.  The Romanists believe that the virgin, Mary is the “Mother of God” and is more sympathetic than her son Jesus and so they pray to her.  The Modernists believe that God the Father is a “dirty bully” for sending His Son to earth to die for the sins of mankind.  The Muslims don’t believe that God had a son.  Orthodox Jews believe in God but not in the deity of Jesus.  Some people believe that God the Father is an old man whom they can conjole into giving them whatever they want regardless of whether or not it’s good for them.  They like to ask the “Why…?” questions. If they don’t get an answer immediately from Him that satisfies them, they get angry at Him and want others to join them in their revolt against God (See Psalm 2; Revelation 20:7-10).  

The True God.  What are your honest thoughts about God?  Consider with me what God the Father is really like and how these thoughts can/should affect your daily life.  We’ve pointed out in our previous studies that all three Persons in the Godhead have the same attributes: Good, Righteous, Omniscient, Omnipotence, Truth, Holiness, and Love.  All three Persons share the same essence and are considered to be just one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; See John 15:26).  Yes, I know that this concept is hard to grasp, but it is what the Scriptures teach and we accept it as truth from God (John 14:6; 17:17).

Decree.  Before creating anything, we understand that the three Persons in the Godhead got together and considered creating spirit beings (Job 38:7; Ezekiel 28:13, 14), the heavens and the earth, plants and animals, and human beings (Genesis 1, 2).  They decided to give our first parents (Adam and Eve) a free will and give them an opportunity to obey or disobey God’s simple instructions (Genesis 2:15-17).  The three Persons in the Godhead had various options as to what they would do and when they would do certain things (See Mathew 11:21-24; Galatians 4:4).  But once they decided what they would do, it became known as God’s decree” (See Ephesians 1:11).  This involves the determinative will of God and no one can thwart it (Romans 9:19).  God also has a desirous will for us that we may choose to obey or disobey but not without certain consequences (See Genesis 2:17; Deuteronomy 28; Galatians 6:7-9; John 3:16, 18, 36; 1 Timothy 2:4; Romans 12:1, 2; 1 Peter 3:15).

Relationships.  Let’s consider briefly God the Father’s relationships to Creation, to God the Son, to God the Holy Spirit, and to New Testament Christians. 

To Creation. The Scriptures teach us that God the Father is the originator, and source of all things. “…there is one God, the Father, of [Greek – “out of”] whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:6). The Father was the planner. “[He] predestined us [believers] to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His [desirous] will, to the praise of the glory of [the Father’s] grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:5).

To God The Son. It is our understanding that at the time of this “Decree” in eternity past, God the Son volunteered (Hebrews 10:5-9) to be the One who would manifest the Godhead to us humans on earth (John 1:1-18; See Galatians 4:4). He added to His deity a true human nature (but not a sin nature – Hebrews 4:15) and a real body (Philippians 2:5-11; 1 John 4:2; 2 John 1:7). During His earthly ministry Jesus glorified the Father (John 17:4) and then asked God the Father to glorify Him by letting humanity know that He (Jesus) was/is the God-man (John 17:4, 5) who shares an absolute equality with the Father in His deity (Colossians 2:9). One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (admit) that Jesus is Lord (the God-man) to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11; See John 1:1-18; 5:17, 18; 10:30). This isn’t teaching “universal salvation.” (See Matthew 7:21-23; 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8)  God the Son and God the Holy Spirit will remain subordinate to God the Father until the “Decree” (i. e. God’s Plan For Time – The Dispensations) is completed (1 Corinthians 11:3; 15:24-28). In eternity future there will be no subordination of the Persons in the Godhead to the other Persons.

To God The Holy Spirit. Once Jesus ascended back to heaven after dying for our sins…and rising again bodily from the dead, Jesus and the Father sent God the Holy Spirit to earth to reside in the bodies of true believers (John 14:16; 15:26; Acts 2:4). The believer’s body becomes a Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). At the time of the Rapture of the true Church (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), the Holy Spirit will remove His residence from earth back to the third heaven (2 Thessalonians 2:7). The apostate church and unbelievers living on earth at that time will enter the Seven Years of Tribulation (Revelation 6-19). We hope that you won’t be in this group. Ask for help if you’re not sure.

To New Testament Believers. Among the many things that God the Father did was to choose some from among mankind to be the special recipients of His grace (Ephesians 1:3-6; See John 6:37, 44; 15:16). Upon believing in/on Christ as one’s personal Savior, God forgives the believer’s sins (Ephesians 1:7). This is a judicial forgiveness which frees true believers from condemnation (Romans 8:1, 35-39). Family forgiveness is granted to believers who confess their sins to God the Father (1 John 1:9). At the time of salvation, the believer is transferred out of the devil’s family into God’s family.  God becomes his/her Father (Romans 8:15-17, John 8:44; Colossians 1:13, 14; 1 John 3:9, 10). God the Father also enables believers to participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4; John 3:3-6) so they can begin to do things that please Him (Romans 8:8; 2 Corinthians 5:9; See Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). The Scriptures also tell us that God the Father also indwells every believer (Ephesians 4:6), disciplines His unruly children (Hebrews 12:5-11), and hears their proper prayers (John 16:23, 26; James 4:1-3).  Meditate on these truths (1 Timothy 4:15).

Our Response. As a believer grows in the sphere of grace and experiential knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18), his/her relationship and fellowship with God the Father can grow greater and his/her joy can become fuller (John 15:11; 16:24; 1 John 1:4; 2 John 1:12). Having been saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day, each and every believer can/should share the Gospel with lost people, as the Holy Spirit leads him/her (Romans 8:14), so they too can hear the clear Gospel and be saved (Ephesians 2:8, 9; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4; Acts 16:31; Matthew 28:19, 20; Romans 10:9-17). If you’re a believer, are you doing these things? If not, why should God keep you here on earth?  Our primary purpose is/should be to glorify Him by making Him known to others (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2). If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Please share this with someone to is also teachable and willing to change. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

God The Father http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Father.pdf

A Father’s Legacy http://www.allprodad.com/a-fathers-legacy/

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

“Getting To Know God Better”

As you may or may not know, I grew up in Japan for 14 years straight as a missionary kid right after World War II.  My maternal grandparents went to Japan in 1906 and our family had a presence there for over 100 years with the exception of the war years.  My younger brother and I attended the Japanese Peer School for a couple years with the current emperor’s younger sister.  Then we went to a missionary kids’ school where the buildings used to be part of the emperor’s dairy barns (That’s what we were told. It was quite an experience for us.)

Outreach. My father, Timothy Pietsch wanted us to learn Japanese and English so we could be more effective in reaching Japanese people for Christ.  So at our meal times we began by holding hands, singing a hymn in English or Japanese and then we prayed and gave thanks for our food.  During the meal time we learned Bible verses in English and Japanese.  We also had a map of Asia on the wall and had to learn some geography too.  I’ll never forget the capital of Afghanistan.  Do you know what it is?

Memorize. One of the verses our dad taught us is found in Jeremiah 9:23, 24.  It says, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these things I delight,’ says the LORD.”

Bragging. We all have a tendency to brag a little about ourselves, don’t we?  We think we’re pretty smart, at least “street smart” in some areas.  Others think that they are pretty strong.  It’s interesting how little children can manipulate their parents and get what they want by threatening them or putting on a scene in the store.  And then there are some rich people who think that they can practically get anyone to do what they want them to do if they are paid the right price.  You’ve heard the saying, “Every man has his price.”

Understanding. But rather than our boasting about ourselves, God wants us to understand and know Him and that He exercises loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. God’s adversary, the devil want’s us to believe otherwise and constantly slanders God and His children.

Study. For us to discover more about Him, we need to study His Word (the Scriptures) to show ourselves approved to God, so we can be His workers who need not be ashamed and who handle His Word correctly (2 Timothy 2:15).  He wants His children to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask us about our faith.  This needs to be done with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).

Discovery. Would you like to find our more about the true and living God?  If you’re going to brag, brag about God.  We glorify Him when we make Him known to others (See 1 Corinthians 10:31).  The god of the unbelievers is the devil (the slanderer) who wants to discredit God and make Him out to be that which He is not (2 Corinthians 4:4; See Job 1:6; Revelation 12:10; Zechariah 3:1).  He loves to slander God’s children too.

Worship. By our knowing Him for who He really is, we will be able to worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24) rather than worshiping ourselves or some other human being.  He alone is worthy (Revelation 4:9-11; 5:12).  One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (admit) that Jesus is Lord (i. e. the God-man) to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).  This is not teaching the heresy of universal salvation.

Deliverance. To be delivered from the lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels/demons, and to enter heaven, we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Have you done this yet? Do you have assurance of your salvation? Do you believe that there is anything that a true believer can do or fail to do that would cause him to lose his salvation? If so, what would it be?

Help. If you need additional spiritual help, please contact us. If this article has helped you, please let us know and share it with others (2 Timothy 2:2). To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook live and on Youtube for audio/video studies of the Word.

Outline:  http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Godhead.pdf

Attributes of God: https://kelseypeach.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/a-caricature-of-god/

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

 

“A Caricature Of God?”

Several years ago when our late son, Bill came to visit us in California, we took him to the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.  While we were walking around we came across an artist who was drawing caricatures of people for a few dollars.  So we had a caricature drawing of him made.  It didn’t take long for the artist to finish his work and we still have a humorous memento of our late son.

Self Portrait.  Unlike that caricature of our son, God gave us a self portrait of Himself in the pages of the Scriptures.  Within it’s pages we also have His autobiography.  By careful study of His Word, we can come up with a pretty good picture of God as to who He is and what He is like.  It wouldn’t be like the picture that the little boy was drawing at school.  When the teacher asked him what he was drawing, he said, “It’s a picture of God.”  The teacher replied, “But Billy, no one really knows what God looks like.”  To which the boy responded by saying, “They will know what He looks like when I am done.”

Viewpoint.  When you think about God, what comes to your mind?  As A. W. Tozer said in his book, The Knowledge Of The Holy, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Believe it or not, our perception of God will have a big part in the way we think, feel, act, and react.  Are you open to getting a better view and understanding of God?

Attributes.  In our last article we considered who God is.  We pointed out that the Scriptures tell us that He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17).  In His Word God tells us that He is good, righteous, omniscient, omnipotent, truth, holy, and love.  God’s adversary, the devil would like for us to believe that these things that God says about Himself are not true.

Good.  He Himself is happy and delights in the happiness of others (Mark 10:18; Matthew 19:17; Luke 18:19).  The devil told Eve that God was withholding something good from her by forbidding her and Adam from eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-6). After all, if they ate this fruit, they would be like God knowing good from evil.  This was true.  But the part about their dying wasn’t true.  If they ate of this fruit they wouldn’t have to bother God anymore each day by asking Him what would be beneficial (good) or detrimental (evil) to their well being.  His words appealed to her and she made the choice to eat the fruit and then she gave it to her husband, Adam and he ate the fruit too.  But rather than it’s being something that resulted in their happiness, it brought on them sadness and eventually physical death as they came to realize that they had been stripped and became aware of their nakedness (Genesis 3:7).  Violating God’s command resulted in not only their physical death but also their immediate spiritual separation from fellowship with God.  Furthermore, it caused their nature to become a sinful nature (disposition).  This sinful nature has been passed down to all of us through a stream of flesh (Romans 5:12).  None of us is exempt from this sinful nature.  We’re all born with one (Psalm 51:5).  No one has to tell a child to be bad.  It’s automatic.  This is why Jesus told the religious leader, Nicodemus that he needed to “be born again from above” if he wanted to have eternal life (i.e. God’s quality of life – John 3:1-15).  Do you have “eternal life” as a present possession (1 John 5:11-13)?  Do you have “abundant life” (John 10:10)?  Do you know how you can have these qualities of life?  If not, we’re here to help you secure them.

Righteous.  God always does what is right (Psalm 71:19; 112:10; 119:142; 145:17 ).  The devil would have us believe that God is fickle, vindictive, cruel, and unstable.  No, God is righteous and has given clear instructions as to what He wants His creatures to believe and do in each dispensation (See our “Dipsensations Chart”).  If we violate the rules there are serious consequences. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23; See Genesis 2:17).  The God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the Savior who provided salvation for all mankind (Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; l Timothy 4:10; 1 John 2:2), but He is also the righteous Judge (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8).  Someday everyone of us will stand before Him to have our works evaluated to determine our degree of pleasure in God’s presence or our degree of suffering forever in the lake of fire (Hebrews 9:27).  The devil would like for people to believe the lie that man can become a god (Romans 1:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:11), and that heaven and hell aren’t real places to which people go. Some of his false teachers want people to believe in another Christ and another gospel that involves the universal salvation of all men (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15; 2 Peter 2:1 ff). Consider the heresy that is taught in John Lennon’s song “Imagine there’s no heaven or hell….”  It saddens my heart that so many people have fallen for this lie from the devil. Have you?

Omniscient.  God knows everything.  There is nothing hidden from Him.  He knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  He knows the number of hairs on our heads, when the sparrow falls, and the names of all the stars He created (Matthew 10:28, 29; Psalm 147:4).  He knows the hidden motives we have (1 Corinthians 4:5:Hebrews 2:14).  This truth can be scary to those who are doing evil but pleasant to those who are suffering unjustly (2 Timothy 3:12), knowing that God will do the right thing in the end and take just vengeance on evil doers (Romans 12:19, 20).  The devil would have people believe that God doesn’t know everything because, they say, that would violate man’s free will.  This heresy is known as “the open view of God” and is being taught in some churches today.  It glorifies man (humanism) and diminishes God (Romans 1:25).

Omnipotent God is all powerful and can do anything He determines to do except those things that would be contrary to His nature and essence (Genesis 18:4; Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17).  God can’t/won’t make a rock too big for Him to move.  God’s power was displayed to the spirit beings when He created the heavens and the earth (Job 38:7; Psalm 8:3; Genesis 1:1).  But the greatest demonstration of His power was displayed when He raised Jesus Christ bodily from the dead (Philippians 3:10).  By His bodily resurrection from the dead, God the Father let mankind know that He was satisfied with God the Son’s payment for all our sins (Romans 4:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10).  The devil would like for us to think that we can thwart God’s decree – His determinative will (Ephesians 1:11; John 6:37).  We can’t.  But we can and often do resist His desirous will for our lives to our own detriment.  We can grieve and quench God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).  Are you doing these things?  If you are, don’t be surprised if you life is in shambles.  “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).  Are you trying to fool others and deceiving yourself (2 Timothy 3:13)?

Truth God always speaks and tells the truth about Himself and about His creatures – spirit beings and human beings (John 14:6; 17:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Titus 1:2).  His Word records the lies that the devil and men utter and many of the evil deeds that His creatures do.  Some of this truth about man’s vial character and deeds have caused some folks to relegate His Word to a class of literature that is inappropriate for some people to read, especially children.  The devil challenged the truthfulness of God’s Word when he said to Eve, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’ (Genesis 3:1-5)?”  Did He really mean what He said?  He was the first one who interpreted God’s Word allegorically and tried to deceive Eve into believing him rather than God?  Have you fallen for the devil’s lies?  Do you have a distorted, caricature view of God, yourself, the devil, and mankind in general?  What method do you use to interpret the Scriptures – the normal or the allegorical method?

Holy.  God maintains His moral excellence and demands of others a moral excellency identical to His own (Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 145:21; Isaiah 6:3; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 1:16).  Mankind naturally pursues the sinful desires that come from his sin nature.  All the “works of the flesh” are perversions of something good (Galatians 5;19-21).  Even after a person is saved and participates in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), he/she still retains their sinful nature and has the potential to engage in these sinful practices (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25; 1 Corinthians 5:1 ff).  The Christian who tries to carry out a life of sin will have his/her physical life terminated prematurely (James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16, 17).  God usually takes other disciplinary measures before terminating His rebellious child’s physical life (Hebrews 12:5 ff; 1 Corinthians 10:30).  He can’t/won’t take His eternal life from His child (John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39).  Are you His child or still the child of the devil (John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10)?  The devil would have us believe that God doesn’t really know or care how we live as believers (Psalm 10:11).  He wants us to believe that God will overlook our sinful behavior.  But the Scriptures tell us that “whom the Lord loves, He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:5 ff).  If a “professing Christian” seems to get by without discipline when he/she sins, this one is illegitimate and not a true child of God (Hebrews 12:8).  What about you?  Don’t presume on the mercy and grace of God (Romans 3:8; 6:1)?

Love.  God seeks the highest well being of the objects of His love (1 John 3:16, 17; 4:8; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13).  His love for sinful mankind was demonstrated when One of the equal members in the Godhead volunteered to come down to this earth (John 3:16; Hebrews 10:7, 9), to add to His deity a true human nature and a real body (Philippians 2:5-11), to live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15; John 8:46), and then to die as a substitute for our sins and rise again bodily (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18).  The devil and his crowd would like for us to believe that God was/is a dirty bully for sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins.  But Someone in the Godhead needed to do this so mankind wouldn’t have to be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire (John 3:16-18; Matthew 25;41, 46).  Have you responded to God’s love, mercy, and grace and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively as the One who died for your sins, who was buried for three day, and then who rose again bodily on the third day?  Are you relying on Him alone to save you or are you relying on your good works or your faith plus your good works to save you (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5)?  Do you have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13; Romans 8:16)?  Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation?  If so, what would it be?  How secure are you? The devil doesn’t mind your knowing the truth about God and His love for you and His offer of salvation. But he’ll tell you have plenty of time to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. The Scriptures tell us that our lives are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then it’s gone (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).

Test.  What is your honest perception of God?  Be honest.  Does it line up with the Scriptures or have you come up with an idol in your mind that is unworthy of the true and living God?  Are you trusting in the wrong Christ (Matthew 24:5)? By adjusting your thinking to God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8, 9), you will be well on your way to a better quality of life if you respond properly to God and receive the gift of eternal life from Him by faith (John 1:12; 14:1-3).  You may choose to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior to your eternal regret and sorrow.  Unbelief in Him is the only unforgivable sin today (John 16:8-11; Acts 26:28). You cannot ignore Jesus without suffering dire consequences (John 3:18, 36: Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).

Help.  We’re here to help those who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15).  If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you.  If you have questions, we’ll try to answer them if we can.  “If you continue to think as you’ve always thought, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always got.  Is that what you really want?”  To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”  We’re also on Facebook live and on Youtube where we have audio/visual presentations for the glory of God and for the your good (1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 6:10).

Outline:  http://kelseypeach.com/Bible_Basics/The_Godhead.pdf

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

 “Getting To Know God”

When it comes to a knowledge of God, many people have all kinds of strange and/or incorrect ideas. However, if we look into the pages of the Scriptures, we can get a better understanding of who God is and how He describes Himself. No longer do we have to refer to ourselves as agnostics (someone who isn’t sure about God’s existence) or as an atheist (one who denies God’s existence). After all, with the universe as big as it is, it would be foolish to suggest that we’ve been everywhere in it and didn’t find God anywhere. The Scriptures remind us that “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). By observing nature we can know that there must be a God who is powerful (Romans 1:20; See Psalm 19:1). Many people disregard this because they don’t want to be accountable to Him as was the case with Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-19; See John 3:19). By the way, he wasn’t the brother of Jesus as one cult teaches.

Creator & Sustainer. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “All things [came into being] through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). “For by Him [i. e. God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers [i. e. four categories of angelic spirit beings – See Ephesians 6:12]. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist [i. e. are held together]” (Colossians 1:16, 17). Please note that another cult adds the word “all other things” four times in these verses. They deny the deity and equality of God the Son to God the Father and to God the Holy Spirit (See Colossians 2:9). This cult believes that Jesus used to be Michael the archangel.

Trinity. We agree. This teaching in the Scriptures is very difficult to understand. “There is only one true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three co-eternal and co-equal persons, the same in substance [essence] but distinct in subsistence [necessary existence].” – B. B. Warfield. [1] Putting it another way, we could say, “The Father is God; The Son is God; The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son. But they all share the same essence, nature, and attributes.”

Unity. “The ‘Shema’ is the initial Hebrew word of this verse; the entire verse is recited as the Jewish confession of faith.” [2] “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4, 5).  I [God] am the first and I am the last; Besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 44:6). While He was here on earth, Jesus said, “I and My Father are one [in essence]” (John 10:30) and “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). The Apostle John wrote, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18).

Intimations. “In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This name that is used of God has the “____im” ending to the word “Elohim.” This suggests a plurality within the Godhead. On the sixth day of creation, God said, “Let Us make man in Our image…” (Genesis 1:26). These are plural pronouns. After Adam’s and Eve’s fall, God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us…” (Genesis 3:22). As wicked men were building the tower of Babel, God said, “Come, let Us go down and confuse their language…” (Genesis 11:7).

Attributes. A. W. Tozer wrote, “An attribute is whatever God has in any way revealed as being true of Himself.” [3] From our understanding of the Scriptures, there are seven attributes. [4] God is:

Good. “The Divine attribute of God whereby the three Persons [in the Godhead] desire and maintain their own happiness and that of others.” – H. L. S. “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17). “Every [genuinely] good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children [i. e. those things that will bring them happiness], how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:11). Keep in mind that the devil can/does offers enticing gifts that often lead to destruction (Proverbs 14:12). Consider his offer to Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).

Suffering and Death. These things didn’t enter our world until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Romans 5:12). God told Adam not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If he did, he would die two types of death: physical and spiritual death (Genesis 2:17; 3:7; 5:1-32). Death is separation, not annihilation as some cults teach.

Strange? The Apostle Peter wrote, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified” (1 Peter 4:14). Why? “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus” will suffer persecution” [while we’re here on earth] (2 Timothy 3:12; See John 16:2; Revelation 21:4). But “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18; See 2 Corinthians 4:17).

Response. The early Christians, after being beaten for preaching in the name of Jesus, “departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name” (Acts 5:40, 41). The Lord told the Apostle Paul through Ananias that “he must suffer for [Christ’s] sake” (Acts 9:16; See 2 Corinthians 11:23-33). To the Christians in the city of Philippi Paul wrote, “For to you [Christians] it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake” (Philippians 1:29).

Joy. It comes from the Lord and is one part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22; See Nehemiah 8:10). Every Christian should always find his/her primary joy (delight) in the Lord, not in other people or things (Philippians 4:4; See 3 John 1:4). There is no premium on being a sad or remorse Christian.

Mercy. It is an extension of God’s goodness. It involves His showing compassion on those who are suffering because of their own sins or the sins of others (See Psalm 136). God wants His people to do what is right, to be compassionate to those who are suffering, and to walk humbly before Him (Micah 6:8; Luke 6:36; Galatians 6:10). Are you doing these things? Have you responded to God’s mercy and placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)? If not yet, why not now?  You may not be alive tomorrow.

Righteous. “[This] is an attribute of God whereby the three Persons [in the Godhead] always act right in reference to One another in keeping with the divine nature, or to others outside of the divine nature.” – H. L. S. The word “righteous” comes from an old English word meaning “rightly acting.” The word “just” comes from Latin. The Psalmist tells us that “The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works” (Psalm 145:17). Also, “[God’s] righteousness is an everlasting righteousness. And [His] law is truth” (Psalm 119:142).

Judgment. It finds its basis in righteousness. “He shall judge the world in righteousness…” (Psalm 9:8; See 2 Timothy 4:8). “For [God] shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah” (Psalm 67:4; See Psalm 72:2; 96:10). Do you know when this will take place? (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10;  Revelation 19:16; Isaiah 11:4). He will make things right and take vengeance on the wicked (Romans 12:19; See Revelation 6:10) and on those who have not placed their faith and trust in Him exclusively for their salvation (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

Unbelief. The only unforgivable sin today is unbelief in the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior (John 16:9). Upon whom or what are you relying to get into heaven? It’s as real as hell – the everlasting lake of fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels/demons. Sadly, unbelievers will end up there too (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:15; 21:8). God counts a person to have acted right when he/she believes on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:3-5, 16). He sees us as dying for our sins and rising from the dead in the Person of our Substitute.

Crucified. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). The “Crown of Righteousness” is laid up for believers who love Christ’s imminent appearing. It will be given to us by the righteous Judge Jesus at the time of the Rapture (2 Timothy 4:8; See John 5:22; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Will you earn this crown and the four other crowns? You can and should work for them if you’re saved. Discover what we will do with them someday (Revelation 4:10).  (To be continued.)

Help. If this article has helped you gain a better knowledge of God, we’d like to hear from you. To receive future articles as they come out, click “Follow.” Let your friends know about this too. To get this teaching in audio/video format, go to www.youtube.com (Enter: Kelsey Pietsch ) or www.facebook.com/kelseyandjanet.pietsch

[1] https://growrag.wordpress.com/category/b-b-warfield/

[2] Scofield Study Bible, Deuteronomy 6:4 note

[3] A. W. Tozer, The Knowledge Of The Holy, Harper & Row, Publishers, San Francisco, p. 20

[4] Portions adapted from Dr. H. L. Shafer, [H. L. S.] Maturing In Christ, Xulon Press, 2010, pp. 11-16

Clear Gospel:  http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf