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Worth’s Scriptural Handbook of Proof Texts:

Bible Doctrines and Their Denial (KJV)

 

 

 

© 2012 

 

 

 

Reproduction of this book for non-profit circulation by any electronic or print media means is hereby freely granted at no cost—provided the text is not altered in any manner. 

 

Selected sections may be left out if desired.  If accompanied by additional, supplemental material—in agreement or disagreement—it must be clearly and visibly distinguishable from the author’s original text.

 

 

 

 

All scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise indicated.    

 

 

Translations used that are no longer under copyright are not listed here.  Those texts remaining under copyright (and number of verses utilized) come from the following sources:

CEV (Contemporary English Version)         verses used--  17

            Contemporary English Version®  Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society.

ESV (English Standard Version)       verses used--  17

            The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright

© 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

ESV® Text Edition: 2007.

God’s Word:  ---------------------          verses used--  28

            GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations. 

Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations

Holman ------------------------------         verses used--  25

            Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003,

            2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.

ISV (International Standard Version)           verses used--  20

            The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1

Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

NASB (New American Standard Bible)        verses used--  30

            New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971,

1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif

New International Version-------       verses used--  28

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright

© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.

NKJV (New King James Version)    verses used--  45

            Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by

Thomas Nelson, Inc.

NLT (New Living Translation)          verses used--  5

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007.
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.

RSV (Revised Standard Version)     verses used--  16

            Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by

the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of

Christ in the United States of America.

TEV (Today’s English Version)        verses used--  41

            Good News Translation® (Today’s English Version, Second Edition)

Copyright © 1992 American Bible Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

            The following volume is one of my many “orphan works,” ones that were never published and, in this case, I don’t have the foggiest idea where it could ever be published.  It just doesn’t fit the right “niche” to find a publisher.

            Of course C. R. Nichol published his own pocket Bible handbook and it sold well for decades.  A second “of course” would have to be added:  Of course it was self-published.  An inevitability growing out of the type of work it was.  I never had the finances to contemplate such myself, so the internet provides an outlet for what would otherwise never see the light of day. 

            The original of this manuscript was compiled back in the late 1970s and early 1980s—the preface has a date of November, 1980 on it.  It was compiled primarily from sermon notes I had preached through the years.  It was 700+ pages long (double spaced) and the last pages were lost in one of our several moves in the decades since.  Indeed, it’s only thanks to a carbon copy that I have this much since the original disappeared to who knows where.

            Mainly “doctrinal” issues are discussed though not exclusively since it seemed likely that a collection of relevant scriptures might well prove useful for certain other topics as well.  Even so, this version contains both less and more than the original.  Repeatedly I have found myself editing the prose argument summaries—making them (hopefully) clearer, more pungent, and to the point.  Three decades of further Bible study certainly came in handy for this! 

            Some of this was done because it was clear that there were better ways to present  the ideas in a world that has gone through major cultural changes.  But no alterations I wouldn’t have been willing to get up and preach back in the 1980s as well.  The gospel of Christ remains the gospel of Christ.  The “veneer” we utilize may change a bit, but the substance—no.

I’ve added quite a few verses here and there as appropriate, since I’m no longer working within the far stricter limitations of “paper” circulation.  I’ve also substituted the traditional King James Version.  Since most translations today seem more concerned with “protecting copyright” than they are sharing the word of God, it was impractical to use the translation I originally utilized for I had neither the money to purchase reprint rights nor interest in the hassle potentially involved. 

As the result, I fell back on the still popular King James Version.    Although the KJV retains great value, it is over 400 years old now and word usage unquestionably has changed in that duration.  Hence I have—unlike that first draft—freely inserted additional translations of certain texts to make selected points clearer.

I have mainly utilized translations from a variety of sources that are no longer under copyright.  Those that are under copyright are used on a less frequent basis and come from a variety of sources according to which seemed particularly good on a particular passage.  These utilizations have been carefully kept within “fair use” quote lengths.

Hence, as best as I can determine, that which I’ve quoted from such sources is within the norms they set for utilization without special permission.  (Or are from translations now in the public domain—at least within the United States.)  All textual quotations are presented as common today in computerized systems, with brackets to indicate what, in printed form, would be italicized words—words added to complete the sense of the sentence.   

Comment has been kept to a minimum:  basically you have a bold face summary of what the scriptures teach on a matter and certain scriptures—sometimes all; sometimes just a selection—that I believe make clear that very point. 

If you believe I have erred here and there, then mentally “mark out” that part and simply use what remains.  A good point should never be ignored simply because you disagree with something else the speaker said.  And what is equally often forgotten, I suspect, you shouldn’t accept something just because of who said it.  To use the words of a great American President, “Trust—but verify.”

 

 

                                                                        Roland Worth, Jr.

                                                                        Richmond, Virginia      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subject / Numerical Index (211 topics)

(Next, Below This Section:

Chapter Index with Full Entries Listed for Each)

 

 

129      Abortion

067      Abraham and the Promised Land

085      Accidents, Disease, and Death:  Are They Divine

Punishments for Our Specific Sins?

143      Accommodation Theory

130      Adultery

110      Alcoholism

107      Ambition                    

086      Angels

108      Anxiety

 

025      Apostasy:  Is It Possible?

                        047      Apostles:  Testing Today’s  

                        111      Asceticism

050      Astrology       

 

159      Baptism:  Replacement for Circumcision and Therefore

a Vindication of Infant Baptism

                        160      Baptism:  That of the Essenes

                        158      Baptism:  The Act of (Immersion)

                        162      Baptism:  The Purpose of It

164      Baptism Is in Water

                        165      Baptism:  Is It Water Salvation?

                        166      Baptism:  Why was Jesus Baptized?

                        163      Baptism and the Thief on the Cross

161      Baptism as Taught by John the Baptist

 

194      Benevolence:  Church Versus Individual Responsibilities

                        195      Benevolence:  Fellow Believers the Proper Beneficiaries

                                                for Church Benevolence

                        196      Benevolence:  The Widespread Realm for Individual

                                                Assistance

 

143      Bible:  Accommodation Theory

                        137      Bible:  Can We Understand It?

142      Bible:  Causes of Alleged Contradictions

138      Bible:  Completeness of the Revelation in the New Testament

                        139      Bible:  Inspiration of the Old Testament

                        140      Bible:  Inspiration of the New Testament

145      Bible:  Its Fundamental Textual Accuracy in Spite of Being

Transmitted by Human Copyists

146      Bible--Old Testament Events:  Their Historical Reality

144      Bible:  Scientific Accuracy

141      Bible:  Why We Can Believe and Accept It

 

                        147      Bible Authority:  Why Is It Needed?

154      Bible Authority:  Church and Individual Authority

Established Separately

149      Bible Authority:  Commands and Endorsed Direct Statements

                        150      Bible Authority:  Endorsed Examples

152      Bible Authority:  Expediency As a Form of Authorization

151      Bible Authority:  Necessary Inference

156      Bible Authority--Old Testament:  All or Nothing!

157      Bible Authority--Old Testament:  Its Modern Authority

            Abolished

153      Bible Authority:  Silence Is Prohibition

148      Bible Authority:  The Need for Authority from Christ and

            Those He Revealed His Will Through

155      Bible Authority and Majority Opinion:  Authoritative to

            Establish Religious Doctrine and Practice?

 

                        064      [Book of Revelation:]  The 144,000

065      Book of Revelation and the Kingship of Jesus       

066      Book of Revelation:  Interpreting the Work
            112      Busybodies

 

167      Calling on the Name of the Lord = Prayer for Salvation?

087      Capital punishment

131      Celibacy

101      Children

096      “Christian:  Better Than any Denominational Name

for Individual Believers!

                        134      Christian “Liberty:  Intended to Provide Freedom

from Biblical Restrictions on Moral Behavior?

041      Christian Science

026      Christmas

                       

208      Church Co-operation in Benevolence

                        209      Church Co-operation in Evangelism

027      Church Councils

190      Church of the New Testament:  Its Importance

                        191      Church of the New Testament:  Bible Names For It

                        192      Church:  Work of the Local Congregation

                        193      Church Discipline

                       

042      “Communalism / Communism:  Did the Early Church

                                    Practice It?

                        175A   Conscience

                        176      Conscience:  Is It Always a Safe Guide?    

168      Confession

197      Contribution

028      Creeds

                        113      Criticism:  Is It Wrong to Criticize Another Person’s

                                    Religion?

                       

                        114      Dancing:  Sensual

068      Daniel Two:  Prophecy and Fulfillment

198      Deacons

078      Death Does Not Involve Unconsciousness

077      Death Is Not Annihilation    

029      Debating (Religious)

                        059      Demon Possession

030      Depravity—Total

                        103      Divorce and Remarriage                              

                        177      Does a “Warm Heart” Prove We are Saved?

 

                        075      Earth:  Not Eternal, but Destined for Destruction

031      Easter

199      Elders

115      Employee / Employer Relationship and Responsibilities

076      End of the World:  Did First Century Christians Expect

a Quick One?

044      “Eternal,” “Forever,” and “Everlasting:  Jehovah Witness

 Misuse of the Terms

055      “Eternal,” “Forever,” and “Everlasting:  Sabbatarian

Misuse of the Terms

200      Evangelists / Ministers / Preachers

088      Evolution

 

171      Faith:  Is Miraculous  Intervention Necessary?

169      Faith and Belief:  Synonyms

                        170      Faith is a Work

032      Fasting

201      “Fellowship Meals”—Church Sponsored?

081      [The] Final Judgment Day

089      Flood (Noah’s):  Its Universalness

048      Foot Washing

132      Fornication (Premarital Sexual Immorality)

116      Friends and Friendship

 

090      Genealogy Obsession

001      God:  Not a Flesh, Blood, and Bone Deity

                        185      Gospel / Doctrine Distinction Invalid

                        186      Gospel:  Importance Of

117      Government

                       

                        109      Happiness

082      Heaven:  Will Faithful Christians Go There?

083      Hell:  A Place of Future Punishment 

002      Holy Spirit

                        004      Holy Spirit Baptism

003      Holy Spirit in Conversion

133      Homosexuality

                        084      How People Undercut the Existence of Perpetual

Punishment in Hell by their Unbiblical Claims                    

                        104      Husbands:  Their Duties to Their Spouses

 

                        178      Ignorance—Sins of

                        013      Indulgences

                        014      Infallibility

172      Infant Baptism

139      Inspiration of the Old Testament

                        140      Inspiration of the New Testament

                       

203      Instrumental Music in Worship:  Basic Objections

                        206      Instrumental Music In Worship:  Its Use in Heavenly Worship

204      Instrumental Music in Worship:  The Old Testament

                        205      Instrumental Music in Worship:  The Psalms

033      Is “Judging” Religious Beliefs and the Propriety of

                                    Moral Behavior Something to be Condemned?  

                        173      Is Salvation By Grace Alone?

069      Isaiah Two:  The Establishment of the Kingdom

 

043      Jehovah Witnesses

008      Jesus Christ and Jehovah:  Not “Physically” the Same / Not

                                    Two Names for the Same Individual 

007      Jesus Christ:  His Oneness With Jehovah / Their Shared

            Characteristics 

                        006      Jesus Christ:  His Own Supernatural Claims of Being Deity

                        005      Jesus Christ:  His Supernaturalness as Attested by New

Testament Writings

                        009      Jesus Christ:  Not an Angel

                        010      Jesus Christ:  Not a Created Being

                        011      Jesus Christ’s Teaching:  Identical with That of the Apostles

079      Jesus’ Triumphal Final / Second Coming at the End of Time

070      Jewish Temple:  Will It Be Rebuilt? 

034      Jews:  Were They Responsible for Jesus’ Death?

                        035      Jews:  Are They Still God’s Special People Today?

 

071      Kingdom:  Its First Century Establishment

                        072      Kingdom:  Jesus Became Its Ruler in the First Century 

073      Kingdom:  The Postponement Theory

 

074      “Last Days:  Began in the First Century Rather

            than the 21st Century

036      Legalism:  Real and Imaginary 

118      Lodges (Secret)

207      Lord’s Supper

119      Love—Its Imperatives and Its Prohibitions  

 

105      Marriage

015      Mary—Bible Simplicity Versus Later Exaggeration

062      Miracles:  Bible Age Healings Versus Modern Day Imitations

091      Miracles:  In the Childhood of Jesus?

092      Miracles:  Denying the Genuineness of Jesus’

063      Miracles:  The Ending of Genuine Ones

210      Missionary Societies

187      Morality Alone Won’t Save

046      Mormonism

 

037      Negative Preaching:  Is It Undesirable?

093      Nuclear War:  Destruction of the World By?

 

174      Obedience:  Required for Salvation; Faith Alone Inadequate

146      Old Testament Events:  Their Historical Reality

 

120      Persecution

016      [Peter:]  Was Peter Pope?

038      Phariseeism—Real and Imagined

012      Physical Resurrection of Jesus—Its Importance

            and the Evidence For It        

080      Physical Resurrection of Mankind

121      Pleasure

135      Pornography

122      Poverty

 

097      Prayer:  Irrelevancies In

098      Prayer:  Pre-requisites for Successful

099      Prayer:  Subjects of

180      [Prayer:]  Useless Things for the Non-Christian to Pray

For (Because They Are Available Without It)

100      Prayers:  Why They Go Unanswered

 

039      Predestination

017      Priests

123      Procrastination (Spiritual)

124      Profanity

060      Prophets:  Testing Today’s

018      Purgatory

                        125      Purity

 

126      Recreation

                        051      Reincarnation

095      Religious Division Is Wrong:  Both Denominationalism

and Within an Individual Congregation   

040      Religious Titles 

                        175      Repentance

 

053      [The] Sabbath:  Its Purpose and Extent

054      Sabbath Laws that “Sabbath Keepers” Usually Neglect

019      Saints:  Not a Specially Pious Minority of Christians        

020      Saints:  Prayer To

021      Saints:  Worship / “Reverence” of

181      Salvation:  Is It Conditional?

 

094      Satan

052      Seances and Other “Communications” with the Dead

188      Second Chance for Salvation after Death?

058      Seventh Day Adventism’s Invalid “Law of God” / “Law

of Moses” Distinction

179      Should the Non-Christian Pray for Salvation? 

182      Sin

 

183      Sincerity Alone Will Not Save

202      Singing in Worship

049      Sinless Perfection

136      Situation Ethics

127      Social Drinking

045      Soul—Does It Exist?

211      Sponsoring Churches

 

189      Teaching Others about the Faith (“Personal Work”)

056      Ten Commandments:  Abolished as Authority

057      Ten Commandments:  Nine are Rebound by the New

Testament and are Binding for That Reason Rather than

an Origin on Sinai

061      Tongue Speaking:  Twenty-First Century Imitation

Versus First Century Genuine

022      Tradition 

023      Transubstantiation   

 

180      Useless Things for the Non-Christian to Pray For

(Because They Are Available Without It)

 

024      Venial / Mortal Sins:  An Invalid Distinction

 

016      Was Peter Pope?

128      Wealth:  Is It Automatically Proof of Sinfulness or

            Righteousness?

106      Wives:  Their Duties to Their Spouses

184      Works:  When and When Not Essential to Salvation

 

 

 

 

Chapter Index (and topics studied in each)

 

 

 

 

            Part One:  Doctrine

 

 

Chapter 1:  The Godhead:  Father, Son, Holy Spirit and Related Topics

001      God:  Not a Flesh, Blood, and Bone Deity

 

                        002      Holy Spirit

                        003      Holy Spirit in Conversion

                        004      Holy Spirit Baptism

 

                        005      Jesus Christ:  His Supernaturalness as Attested by New

Testament Writings

                        006      Jesus Christ:  His Own Supernatural Claims of Being Deity

                        007      Jesus Christ:  His Oneness With Jehovah / Their Shared

Characteristics 

                        008      Jesus Christ and Jehovah:  Not “Physically” the Same / Not

Two Names for the Same Individual 

                        009      Jesus Christ:  Not an Angel

                        010      Jesus Christ:  Not a Created Being

                        011      Jesus Christ’s Teaching:  Identical with That of the Apostles

 

012      Physical Resurrection of Jesus—Its Importance and the

            Evidence For It         

 

 

Chapter 2:  Roman Catholicism

013      Indulgences

                        014      Infallibility

                        015      Mary—Bible Simplicity Versus Later Exaggeration

016      Was Peter Pope?

017      Priests

018      Purgatory

019      Saints:  Not a Specially Pious Minority of Christians        

020      Saints:  Prayer To

021      Saints:  Worship / “Reverence” of

022      Tradition 

023      Transubstantiation   

024      Venial / Mortal Sins:  An Invalid Distinction

 

 

Chapter 3:  The Protestant “Mainstream”

                        025      Apostasy:  Is It Possible?

                        026      Christmas

                        027      Church Councils

                        028      Creeds

                        029      Debating (Religious)

                        030      Depravity—Total

                        031      Easter

                        032      Fasting

                        033      Is “Judging” Religious Beliefs and the Propriety of

                                    Moral Behavior Something to be Condemned?  

                        034      Jews:  Were They Responsible for Jesus’ Death?

                        035      Jews:  Are They Still God’s Special People Today?

                        036      Legalism:  Real and Imaginary 

                        037      Negative Preaching:  Is It Undesirable?

038      Phariseeism—Real and Imagined

                        039      Predestination

                        040      Religious Titles 

 

 

Chapter 4:  The Religious Fringe

                        041      Christian Science

                        042      “Communalism / Communism:  Did the Early Church

Practice It?

                       

043      Jehovah Witnesses

044      “Eternal,” “Forever,” and “Everlasting:  Jehovah Witness

 Misuse of the Terms

045      Soul—Does It Exist?

                       

                        046      Mormonism

                        047      Apostles:  Testing Today’s              

 

048      Foot Washing

049      Sinless Perfection

                       

                        050      Astrology

                        051      Reincarnation

                        052      Seances and Other “Communications” with the Dead

 

 

Chapter 5:  Sabbath and the Ten Commandments

053      The Sabbath:  Its Purpose and Extent

054      Sabbath Laws that “Sabbath Keepers” Usually Neglect

055      “Eternal,” “Forever,” and “Everlasting:  Sabbatarian

Misuse of the Terms

056      Ten Commandments:  Abolished as Authority

057      Ten Commandments:  Nine are Rebound by the New

Testament and are Binding for That Reason Rather than

an Origin on Sinai

058      Seventh Day Adventism’s Invalid “Law of God” / “Law

of Moses” Distinction

 

 

Chapter 6:  Supernatural in Today’s World?

                        059      Demon Possession

060      Prophets:  Testing Today’s

061      Tongue Speaking:  Twenty-First Century Imitation

Versus First Century Genuine

062      Miracles:  Bible Age Healings Versus Modern Day Imitations

063      Miracles:  The Ending of Genuine Ones     

 

                        064      The 144,000

065      Book of Revelation and the Kingship of Jesus       

066      Book of Revelation:  Interpreting the Work

 

 

Chapter 7:  Premillennialism

                        067      Abraham and the Promised Land

                        068      Daniel Two:  Prophecy and Fulfillment

                        069      Isaiah Two:  The Establishment of the Kingdom

                        070      Jewish Temple:  Will It Be Rebuilt? 

                        071      Kingdom:  Its First Century Establishment

                        072      Kingdom:  Jesus Became Its Ruler in the First Century 

                        073      Kingdom:  The Postponement Theory

                        074      “Last Days:  Began in the First Century Rather

                                    than the 21st Century

 

 

Chapter 8:  Eschatology

                        075      Earth:  Not Eternal, but Destined for Destruction

                        076      End of the World:  Did First Century Christians Expect

a Quick One?

                        077      Death Is Not Annihilation

                        078      Death Does Not Involve Unconsciousness

                        079      Jesus’ Triumphal Final / Second Coming at the End of Time

080      Physical Resurrection of Mankind

                        081      X-11   The Final Judgment Day                   

                        082      Heaven:  Will Faithful Christians Go There?         

                        083      Hell:  A Place of Future Punishment              

                        084      How People Undercut the Existence of Perpetual Punishment

                                    in Hell by their Unbiblical Claims    

 

 

Chapter 9:  Miscellaneous Topics

                        085      Accidents, Disease, and Death:  Are They Divine

Punishments for Our Specific Sins

                        086      Angels            

                        087      Capital punishment

088      Evolution

                        089      Flood (Noah’s):  Its Universalness

                        090      Genealogy Obsession

                        091      Miracles:  In the Childhood of Jesus?

                        092      Miracles:  Denying the Genuineness of Jesus’

093      Nuclear War:  Destruction of the World By?

094      Satan

 

095      Religious Division Is Wrong:  Both Denominationalism

and Within an Individual Congregation   

096      “Christian:  Better Than any Denominational Name

for Individual Believers!

 

097      Prayer:  Irrelevancies In

098      Prayer:  Pre-requisites for Successful

099      Prayer:  Subjects of

100      Prayers:  Why They Go Unanswered

 

 

 

            Part Two:  Behavior

 

 

Chapter 10:  The Family

                        101      Children                     

                        102      Discipline of Children

                        103      Divorce and Remarriage

                        104      Husbands:  Their Duties to Their Spouses

                        105      Marriage

                        106      Wives:  Their Duties to Their Spouses

                       

                        Factors having an impact on the family:

                        107      Ambition

                        108      Anxiety

                        109      Happiness

 

 

Chapter 11:  Social Behavior

110      Alcoholism     

                        111      Asceticism (at end of chapter)

                        112      Busybodies

                        113      Criticism:  Is It Wrong to Criticize Another Person’s

                                    Religion?

                        114      Dancing:  Sensual

                        115      Employee / Employer Relationship and Responsibilities

                        116      Friends and Friendship

                        117      Government

                        118      Lodges (Secret)

                        119      Love—Its Imperatives and Its Prohibitions  

120      Persecution

                        121      Pleasure

122      Poverty

123      Procrastination (Spiritual)

124      Profanity

125      Purity

126      Recreation

127      Social Drinking

128      Wealth:  Is It Automatically Proof of Sinfulness or

            Righteousness?

 

 

Chapter 12:  Sexual Behavior

                        129      Abortion

                        130      Adultery

                        131      Celibacy

                        132      Fornication (Premarital Sexual Immorality)

                        133      Homosexuality

                        134      Christian “Liberty:  Intended to Provide Freedom from

Biblical Restrictions on Moral Behavior?

                        135      Pornography

136      Situation Ethics                     

 

 

 

            Part Three:  Redemption

 

 

Chapter 13:  The Importance and Reliability of the Bible

                        137      Bible:  Can We Understand It?

138      Bible:  Completeness of the Revelation in the New Testament

139      Bible:  Inspiration of the Old Testament

                        140      Bible:  Inspiration of the New Testament

141      Bible:  Why We Can Believe and Accept It

                        142      Bible:  The Causes of Alleged Contradictions

                        143      Bible:  Accommodation Theory

144      Bible:  Scientific Accuracy

                        145      Bible:  Its Fundamental Textual Accuracy in Spite of Being

Transmitted by Human Copyists

146      Bible--Old Testament Events:  Their Historical Reality

 

 

Chapter 14:  Establishing Bible Authority

                        147      Bible Authority:  Why Is It Needed?

148      Bible Authority:  The Need for Authority from Christ and

            Those He Revealed His Will Through

149      Bible Authority:  Commands and Endorsed Direct

Statements

                        150      Bible Authority:  Endorsed Examples

151      Bible Authority:  Necessary Inference

152      Bible Authority:  Expediency As a Form of Authorization

153      Bible Authority:  Silence Is Prohibition

154      Bible Authority:  Church and Individual Authority

Established Separately

155      Bible Authority and Majority Opinion:  Authoritative to

Establish Religious Doctrine and Practice?

156      Bible Authority--Old Testament:  All or Nothing!

157      Bible Authority--Old Testament:  Its Modern Authority

            Abolished       

 

 

Chapter 15:  God’s Plan of Salvation

                        158      Baptism:  The Act of (Immersion)

                        159      Baptism:  Replacement for Circumcision and Therefore

a Vindication of Infant Baptism

                        160      Baptism:  That of the Essenes

                        161      Baptism as Taught by John the Baptist

                        162      Baptism:  The Purpose of It

                        163      Baptism and the Thief on the Cross

                        164      Baptism Is in Water

                        165      Baptism:  Is It Water Salvation?

                        166      Baptism:  Why was Jesus Baptized?

                       

167      Calling on the Name of the Lord = Prayer for Salvation?

168      Confession

                                               

169      Faith and Belief:  Synonyms

                        170      Faith is a Work

                        171      Faith:  Is Miraculous  Intervention Necessary?

                        172      Infant Baptism

                        173      Is Salvation By Grace Alone?          

                        174      Obedience:  Required for Salvation; Faith Alone Inadequate

175      Repentance

 

 

 

Chapter 16:  Other Salvation Related Issues

                        175A   Conscience

                        176      Conscience:  Is It Always a Safe Guide?

                        177      Does a “Warm Heart” Prove We are Saved?

178      Ignorance—Sins of

                        179      Should the Non-Christian Pray for Salvation? 

180      Useless Things for the Non-Christian to Pray For

(Because They Are Available Without It)

181      Salvation:  Is It Conditional?

182      Sin

183      Sincerity Alone Will Not Save

184      Works:  When and When Not Essential to Salvation

 

                        185      Gospel / Doctrine Distinction Invalid

                        186      Gospel:  Importance Of

187      Morality Alone Won’t Save

188      Second Chance for Salvation after Death?

189      Teaching Others about the Faith (“Personal Work”)

 

 

Chapter 17:  The New Testament Church:

Its Work and Worship

190      Church of the New Testament:  Its Importance

                        191      Church of the New Testament:  Bible Names For It

                        192      Church:  Work of the Local Congregation

                        193      Church Discipline

                       

                        194      Benevolence:  Church Versus Individual Responsibilities

                        195      Benevolence:  Fellow Believers the Proper Beneficiaries

                                                for Church Benevolence

                        196      Benevolence:  The Widespread Realm for Individual

                                                Assistance

 

197      Contribution

198      Deacons

199      Elders

200      Evangelists/Ministers/Preachers

 

                        201      “Fellowship Meals”—Church Sponsored?

                       

202      Singing in Worship

203      Instrumental Music in Worship:  Basic Objections

                        204      Instrumental Music in Worship:  The Old Testament

                        205      Instrumental Music in Worship:  The Psalms

                        206      Instrumental Music In Worship:  Its Use in Heavenly Worship                

                        207      Lord’s Supper

                       

 

Chapter 18:  The New Testament Church:

Inter-congregational Co-operation

208      Church Co-operation in Benevolence

                        209      Church Co-operation in Evangelism

210      Missionary Societies

211      Sponsoring Churches

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter 1:

The Godhead:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

and Related Topics

 

 

           

                        001      God:  Not a Flesh, Blood, and Bone Deity

 

                        002      Holy Spirit

                        003      Holy Spirit in Conversion

                        004      Holy Spirit Baptism

 

                        005      Jesus Christ:  His Supernaturalness as Attested by New

Testament Writings

                        006      Jesus Christ:  His Own Supernatural Claims of Being Deity

                        007      Jesus Christ:  His Oneness With Jehovah / Their Shared

Characteristics 

                        008      Jesus Christ and Jehovah:  Not “Physically” the Same / Not

Two Names for the Same Individual 

                        009      Jesus Christ:  Not an Angel

                        010      Jesus Christ:  Not a Created Being

                        011      Jesus Christ’s Teaching:  Identical with That of the Apostles

 

012      Physical Resurrection of Jesus—Its Importance

            and the Evidence For It        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 001 #

God:

Not a Flesh, Blood, and Bone Deity

 

 

            The pagan cults believed their gods had flesh and blood and bone parallel to that of mankind.  Contemporary Mormonism also believes that their God has a physical body of flesh and blood.  The Bible does not take kindly to such approaches.

 

            1.  God is a spirit and a spirit does not have flesh and bones.

            John 4:24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

            Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

 

            2.  Jesus contrasted flesh and blood revealing something and the Father revealing it—thereby showing that God is not flesh and blood.

            Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

 

            3.  If God were flesh and blood, He could not be in heaven.

            1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

 

 

 

 

 

# 002 #

Holy Spirit

 

 

            1.  The Holy Spirit is a Person rather than some kind of abstract influence.

            The Holy Spirit is consistently referred to as a “he,” not an “it.”  (In an age of feminist annoyance at such “male” language, it will be interesting to see how translators chose to emphasis this “real” versus “abstract” nature of the Spirit.)  The following are some of the characteristics of personality, of individuality, that the Spirit possesses:

 

            A.  The Holy Spirit has the power of speech.

            1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

            Hebrews 3:7 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,   8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.

            Revelation 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

            What He says even through prophets can be resisted and opposed:  Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers [did], so [do] ye.   52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers.

 

B.  The Holy Spirit has a mind or intellect.

            Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.

 

            C.  The Holy Spirit has emotions.

            Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

            Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought against them.

            (Jewish Publication Society) Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and grieved His holy spirit; therefore He was turned to be their enemy, Himself fought against them.

 

            D.  The Holy Spirit makes decisions.

            1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

 

            E,  The Holy Spirit has power.

            Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

 

            2.  The Holy Spirit is Deity. 

 

            A.  To lie to the Spirit is to lie to God.

            Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,   2 And kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it] at the apostles' feet.   3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?   4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

 

            B.  The Spirit’s miracles performed through Paul were the same as God working through him.

            1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:   5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

 

            C.  The spirit possesses the attributes (characteristics) of Deity.

           

            (1)  Like Jehovah, the Spirit is eternal.

            Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 

            (2)  Like Jehovah, the Spirit is omniscient (all knowing).

            1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

 

            (3)  Like Jehovah, the Spirit is omnipresent (everywhere present).

            Psalms 139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?   8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there].   9 [If] I take the wings of the morning, [and] dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;   10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

 

 

 

 

 

# 003 #

Holy Spirit in Conversion

 

           

            1.  The Holy Spirit does not directly and miraculously produce faith in any of us.  Faith is produced by hearing the written or spoken word of God which the Spirit revealed to inspired individuals in the first century.

            Romans 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

            John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:   31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.     

            If direct action of the Spirit is essential to save us, then God is solely and personally responsible for the damnation of every lost soul:  He could have sent the Spirit and chose not to do so.

 

            2.  The Holy Spirit’s action is not responsible for the difference between one person believing and another not doing so.  Jesus lays the responsibility on the individual himself and on the influence of the environment.

            In Matthew 13:1-9 Jesus gives the parable of the sower.  A little later in the chapter, He provides this interpretation:  Matthew 13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.   19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth [it] not, then cometh the wicked [one], and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.   20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;   21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.   22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.   23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth [it]; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

 

3.  Though individuals are often very wicked, that does not mean that he or she was born totally depraved or that the direct action of the Holy Spirit is necessary to remove sinful attitudes.

People confuse what one becomes with what one was born with.

 

            4.  The Holy Spirit tells us today that we are saved—through the revealed word.  The Spirit inspired it.  When we examine what they wrote and know that we have obeyed it, we have the testimony of the Spirit thru that word that we are redeemed.  The Spirit does not lie.  What more assurance does anyone dare require?

            This is why we read:  Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. 

            The Holy Spirit spoke infallibly on this and any other matter He revealed:  John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 

            5.  God opened the hearts of men and women through the means of their hearing the Spirit inspired word.  He did not—nor had any need to—act independently of that word.

            Acts 16:13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted [thither].   14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.   15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought [us], saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide [there]. And she constrained us.

 

 

 

 

 

# 004 #

Holy Spirit Baptism

 

 

            1.  Holy Spirit baptism of the apostles was a promise and not a command to be obeyed.

            Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,   2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:   4 And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.   5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

 

            2.  Since Holy Spirit baptism was only promised to the apostles, any one else who received it did so as an act of abundant grace rather than out of any promise made by God.  God had no commitment to give it to any one else—then or today.

 

            3.  Since Holy Spirit baptism was not a command to be obeyed, there was nothing any first century Christian could do to guarantee receiving it.

 

            4.  We have no evidence that any first century Christian ever prayed for Holy Spirit baptism.  (Not having been promised it, why should they?)  Likewise we have no evidence that any of them ever felt guilty about not receiving it.

            Contrast modern religious teaching on both points!

 

            5.  Holy Spirit baptism was never required for salvation or as proof of one’s advanced spirituality.

 

            6.  Holy Spirit baptism was the rare exception and not the rule in the early church.  There are only two definite cases of it.

 

            A.  The apostles were baptized with the Spirit on Pentecost.

            We read that they would be “baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5 above) and we read of its fulfillment.  Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.   2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.   3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.   4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

            B.  The household of Cornelius was the second case.

            Acts 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.   16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.   17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as [he did] unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

            (1)  It is identified as identical with what the apostles had received; (2) it is specifically labeled as the baptism of the Spirit (Ghost, KJV); (3) the one and only case that Peter could find to compare it with was back on Pentecost—hence Spirit baptism was clearly neither normal nor expected; (4) it was interpreted by Peter as proof (verse 17) that Gentiles should be permitted to be part of the church.  In other words there was a unique reason for it being done.

 

            7.  Holy Spirit baptism came after faith rather than to produce faith in the recipient.

            Acts 11:17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as [he did] unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

 

            8.  Holy Spirit baptism was not a replacement or substitute for water baptism.

            Acts 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.   46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,   47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?   48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

            Since water baptism was essential to salvation (Acts 2:38), this example also shows that Spirit baptism did not have that purpose in mind since water baptism was still required.  Furthermore, if water baptism was not linked to salvation, why the urgency to baptize them immediately?

 

            9.  Holy Spirit baptism was accompanied by the outward manifestation of speaking in tongues.  No speaking in tongues at the time the “Spirit” is supposedly given today, proves the phenomena is not genuine Holy Spirit baptism.

            Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.   5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.   6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.   7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?   8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

            Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.   45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.   46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. . . .

 

            10.  The “tongues” that were spoken in after receiving Holy Spirit baptism were genuine, known, contemporary languages and not “ecstatic jibberish” nonsense syllables.

            Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.   5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.   6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.   7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?   8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

 

            11.  Since miraculous gifts ceased with the completion of God’s “perfect” law, the New Testament, it follows that since Holy Spirit baptism was a miraculous gift that it also ceased to be given no later than that event.  (Actually the fact that there were only two certain cases of Holy Spirit baptism ever occurring, argues it was actually ended long before that event!)

            Corinthians 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.   9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.   10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

 

 

 

 

 

# 005 #

Jesus Christ:  His Supernaturalness as Attested

by New Testatment Writings

 

 

            1.  Jesus was the Divine Word made flesh.

            John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   2 The same was in the beginning with God.   3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.  10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.   14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

            (TEV) John 1:1 Before the world was created, the Word already existed; he was with God, and he was the same as God.

 

2.  Paul taught that before Jesus came to earth, that He existed in the “form” of God and on an “equality” with Him.

            Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:   6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:   7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:   8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

            (NASB) Philippians 2:6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.

 

           

            3.  Jesus accepted rather than rebuked and rejected Thomas’ description of Him as Deity.

            John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you.   27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.   28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.   29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.

            In a somewhat similar vein but concerning a different apostle:  John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.   8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.   9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?   10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

 

            4.  Even His enemies recognized that He claimed to be Deity and this was part of what made them steadfast foes.  Jesus recognized their complaint and defended the legitimacy of His claim.

            John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.   19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.   20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.   21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.   22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:   23 That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

            John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.   34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods" '?   35 "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),   36 "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?   37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;   38 "but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father [is] in Me, and I in Him."   39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

            John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.   40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.   46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?   47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear [them] not, because ye are not of God.   54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:   55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.   56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.   57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?   58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.   59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

           

 

            5.  The Hebrews writer refers to Jesus as both “Son” and “God.”

            Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,   2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;   3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;   4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.   5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?   6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.   7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.   8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.   9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

            (Holman NT) Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

 

            6.  Jesus Christ is “true God.” 

            1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, [even] in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

 

            7.  Christ returning will be the appearing of God.

            Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

            (Weymouth) Titus 2:13 in expectation of the fulfilment of our blessed hope--the Appearing in glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

            Although it is not explicitly described as the time of the Final Return of Christ, the destruction of the earth is properly assumed to occur at that time.  (It can’t very well happen before the Return and there is no reason to expect it to be delayed afterwards.)  Hence the terminology used here may well also describe Jesus as Deity:  2 Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?   13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.   14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

 

            8.  “God” purchased the church with “His own blood.”  Since the One who died was Jesus of Nazareth, then Christ is identified as being Deity.

            Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

            (Young’s Literal Translation) Acts 20:28 `Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit made you overseers, to feed the assembly of God that He acquired through His own blood.

 

            9.  Depending upon the manuscript tradition being utilized, Paul refers to Jesus as “God” who was “manifest[ed] in the flesh.”

            1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

            This reading is maintained by few modern translations (for example, the NKJV and Young’s Literal).  Most substitute “He” for “God,” resulting in a typical context along the line of, “Great is the mystery of godliness.  He was manifested in the flesh.”   

 

            10.  Old Testament passages referring to Jehovah/Yahweh are applied in the New Testament to Jesus.  Hence Jesus is identified with and equated with Deity.

 

            A.  Isaiah’s prophecy of John the Baptist is applied by Matthew to John’s relationship to Jesus.

 

            Matthew 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord [in the Hebrew text of Isaiah:  Yahweh/Jehovah], make his paths straight.

 

            B.  The reference in Joel 2:32 to the redeeming power of Jehovah is quoted by two different apostles as proof of the redemptive power of Jesus.

           

            Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD [in the Hebrew text:  Yahweh/Jehovah] shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

           

            (1)  Quoted by the apostle Paul as a statement from “Scripture” and as fulfilled in Christ without a citation of who said it.

 

            Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.   12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.   13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [in the Hebrew text:  Yahweh/Jehovah] shall be saved.

 

            (1)  Quoted by the apostle Peter as fulfilled in Christ, with the name of the specific prophet who said it.

 

            Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.   15 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is [only] the third hour of the day.   16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:   17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.   18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.   19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.   20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.   21 And it shall come to pass [That] whoever calls on the name of the LORD [in the Hebrew text:  Yahweh/Jehovah] Shall be saved.'  

22 " Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know --   23 "Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;   24 "whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it.

 

 

 

 

 

# 006 #

Jesus Christ:

His Own Supernatural Claims

of Being Deity

 

           

            Most skeptics think that the disciples invented the claim that Jesus was supernatural and Deity.  However the blunt reality is that when such is rejected, one is actually rejecting Jesus’ own message about Himself.  Some of these claims are direct while others are implicit, but both forms of teaching point to the same conclusion.

 

            1.  He claimed to His enemies that He was God manifested before them and defended the legitimacy of His claim.  This claim was part of what made them steadfast foes and determined to kill Him.

            John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.   19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.   20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.   21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.   22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:   23 That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

            John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.   34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods" '?   35 "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),   36 "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?   37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;   38 "but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father [is] in Me, and I in Him."   39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

            John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.   40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.   46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?   47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear [them] not, because ye are not of God.   54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:   55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.   56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.   57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?   58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.   59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

 

            2.  Jesus accepted and endorsed the apostle Thomas’ use of both “Lord” and “God” to describe Himself.

            John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you.   27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.   28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.   29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.

            To Thomas:  “thou hast believed:  blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”  Believed what?  Obviously the very preceding words:  John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

 

3.  Jesus insisted to the apostle Philip that He was the manifestation of the Father:  to see Jesus is to see the Father.  John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.   8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.   9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?   10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

            John 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.   45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

 

            4.  Jesus claimed to be greater than the Temple.

            Matthew 12:6 But I say unto you, That in this place is [one] greater than the temple.

            There seems no reasonable way to avoid the conclusion of that classic older commentator, Adam Clarke:  “The Jews esteemed nothing greater than the Temple, except God, who was worshipped in it.  [Therefore] Christ, by asserting He is ‘greater than the temple,’ asserts that He is God.”

 

            5.  Jesus claimed the power to forgive sin, a power reserved to God.

            Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.   6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,   7 Why doth this [man] thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?   8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?   9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?   10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)   11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.   12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. 

            They were right:  only Deity can forgive human sin.  Isaiah 43:25 I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

            Psalms 130:3 If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?   4 But [there is] forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

 

            6.  Jesus challenged His enemies to prove Him guilty of any sin.  Isn’t this an implicit claim of sinlessness, a major attribute of God?

            John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.   17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself.   18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

            (BBE) John 7:18 The man whose words come from himself is looking for glory for himself, but he who is looking for the glory of him who sent him--that man is true and there is no evil in him.

            John 8:45 And because I tell [you] the truth, ye believe me not.   46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?   47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear [them] not, because ye are not of God.

            (Young) John 8:46 Who of you doth convict me of sin? and if I speak truth, wherefore do ye not believe me?

            (TEV) John 8:46 Which one of you can prove that I am guilty of sin? If I tell the truth, then why do you not believe me?

            Was Jesus an egomaniac or was He sinless?  If an egomaniac, how do we owe Him any respect.  If sinless, how can we owe Him anything less than complete obedience.

 

            7.  Jesus claimed the supernatural power to be present with the disciples worldwide—the kind of “omnipresence” attributed to His Father.

            Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

 

            8.  Jesus claimed to be the sole access to God that is available to mortals.  How can that be if He isn’t Deity Himself?

            John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

            Cf. John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

 

            9.  His “Sonship” relationship with the Father is a unique one, unshareable with others and non-shared with others.  How can that uniqueness exist if He is not Deity as well?

            John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.   15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.   16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.   17 For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

            (Holman) John 1:14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

 

 

 

 

# 007 #

Jesus Christ:

His Oneness With Jehovah /

Their Shared Characteristics

 

 

            Jesus described Himself as “one” with Jehovah (John 17:11).  He did not mean that “Jesus” and “Jehovah” are merely different names for the same Being, a theory that will be refuted in a later section of our studies.  Rather the two are “one” because they have shared Deity and both have numerous identical characteristics.  For example:

 

            1.  Jesus and Jehovah are one in that they are both eternal.  There has never been a time without their presence and there never will be in the future.

             John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

            John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

            John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

            John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

            (Weymouth) John 8:58 "In most solemn truth," answered Jesus, "I tell you that before Abraham came into existence, I am."

 

            2.  Jesus and Jehovah are one in that both possess omnipresence (ability to be present everywhere).

 

            A.  This was true of Jesus geographically.

           

            Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

 

            B.  This was true of Jesus regardless of the passage of time.

 

            John 20:26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you.

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

            3.  Jesus and Jehovah are one in that both are unchanging.  (To use a phrase I’ve never heard:  they are both “omnireliable”—everywhere and at all times.)

            Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

            (Weymouth) Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and to-day--yes, and to the ages to come.

            Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.   9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.   10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:   11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;   12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

            (Weymouth) Hebrews 1:12 and, as though they were a mantle Thou wilt roll them up; yes, like a garment, and they will undergo change. But Thou art the same, and Thy years will never come to an end."

 

            4.  Jesus and Jehovah are one in regard to the perfection of their moral character.  They are both completely holy and sinless.

            1 John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.

            (ISV) 1 John 3:5 You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and there is not any sin in him.

            1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:   22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:   23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously.

            (Weymouth) 1 Peter 2:22 He never sinned, and no deceitful language was ever heard from His mouth.

           

            5.  Jesus and Jehovah are one in regard to the inherent ability to forgive sin against heaven—an ability no mortal can obtain. 

            Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

            (RSV) Hebrews 9:28 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.

            Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

            (Weymouth) Titus 2:13 in expectation of the fulfilment of our blessed hope--the Appearing in glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

            Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.   6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,   7 Why doth this [man] thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?   8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?   9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, [Thy] sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?   10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)   11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.   12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

 

            6.  Jesus and Jehovah are one in regard to power:  The Father has bestowed on His Son the fullness of His own power.

            Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

            Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.

            Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places],   21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:   22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church.

            Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

 

            7.  Jesus and Jehovah are one in regard to their ability to penetrate the hidden character and inner thoughts of us (omniscience).

            Mark 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.   28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.   29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.   30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.   31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

            John 21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

 

 

 

 

 

# 008 #

Jesus Christ and Jehovah:

Not “Physically” the Same /

Not Two Names for the Same Individual

 

 

            The “oneness” of Jesus and His Father does not mean that they are mere alternate names for the same “physical” (for lack of a better word) being.  That scenario only makes full sense if He/They are schizophrenic—a “split personality” with a vengeance!  And advocates of this scenario never intend such an insult even if it seems extraordinarily hard to avoid.  Furthermore, this extreme oneness scenario reduces to foolishness—if not outright hypocrisy—the way the Scriptures describe the relationship of Jesus and Jehovah.

 

            1.  The Scriptures refer to Jesus, Jehovah / Yahweh, and the Holy Spirit being present and acting separately at Jesus’ baptism.  Therefore they can not “physically” be one and the same Being.

            Matthew 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.   14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?   15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.   16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:   17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Jesus was in the water, the Spirit was descending, and the Father was in heaven.  Three distinct individuals were involved, doing separate things.  If, somehow, there was only one person “really” involved, wasn’t Jesus perpetuating a fraud since observers could never have guessed it?    

           

            2.  Jesus prayed to His Father.  Either they are “physically” separate or Jesus was mentally unbalanced since He was actually praying to Himself.

            John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:   2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.   3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.   4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.   5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  Note the repeated distinctions between Jesus and the Father.  Continue reading the chapter for yet more such distinctions.  How could anyone in his right mind pray these words unless He was addressing an entity different from Himself?

 

            3.  Jesus taught that He, the Father, and the Spirit would have distinct but interlocked roles to play in the revelation of truth to the apostles, differences that are utterly meaningless if they are merely different names for the same, single individual.

               John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.   13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.   14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.   15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

 

            4.  The kingdom will be returned to Jehovah at the end of the world.  How can Jesus do that if “Jesus” and “Jehovah” are merely synonyms for the same, identical Being?

            1 Corinthians 15: 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.   24 Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.   25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.   26 The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.   27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.   28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

 

            5.  The fact that Jesus and His Father are “one” no more proves that they are two names for one Person, than the fact that we Christians are “one” with God proves that we are “physically” one with Jehovah.

            John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;   21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.   22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:   23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

 

 

 

 

 

# 009 #

Jesus Christ:

Not an Angel

 

 

            Some groups, like the Jehovah Witnesses, claim that Jesus was an angel.  This way they can give Him great prestige and honor while stripping Him of the Deityship that He actually enjoys.  However, the Scriptures weigh heavily against their position.

 

            1.  Jesus could not have been an angel because “all”—not just “some,” “most,” or “all the rest”—were subject to Him.

            Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

 

            2.  Jesus could not have been an angel because He was worshipped and an angel could not rightly be worshipped.

 

            A.  Jesus was worshipped.

 

            Matthew 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

            Matthew 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

            John 9:38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

           

\           B.  Worship of angels was improper.

 

            Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.

            Revelation 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.   10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Revelation 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.   9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

           

            3.  Since angels are created beings and since Christ created all things—which would include angels—Christ Himself could not be an angel.

 

            A.  Angels are created beings.

 

            Psalms 148:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.  2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.   3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.   4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that [be] above the heavens.   5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

 

            B. Christ created all things—which would include angels.

 

            Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

            John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

            Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.

            1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

 

 

 

 

 

# 010 #

Jesus Christ:  Not a Created Being

 

 

            When one rejects Jesus being eternal due to His Deityship, the only logical alternative is to claim that He was actually a created being—just like Adam was.

 

            1.  Jesus Christ could not have been a created being because the Scriptures teach that God, working through Him, created “all” things—leaving no room to believe that Jesus was created, either as an angel or in some other form.

            Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

            John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

            Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.

            1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us [there is but] one God, the Father, of whom [are] all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom [are] all things, and we by him.

            Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.

            Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.   10 For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

 

            B.  Colossians 1:15—contrary to the belief of many—does not prove that Christ was a created being.

 

            1.  Yes, reading Colossians 1:15 by itself can easily lead to that conclusion.

 

            Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.

 

            2.  However if a person just reads the very next verse, one immediately sees that cannot be the intention.

 

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.

           

            3.  Reading two verses further and one sees that the “firstborn of every creature” means the 

            Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:   16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:   17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.   18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

 

            4.  Perhaps because of this broader context, some translations prefer a significant modification in the translation of “the firstborn of every creature.”

            A number of translations alter “firstborn of every creature” to “firstborn over all creation” (Holman, ISV, NIV, NKJV) or “superior to all creation” (CEV), “superior to all created things” (TEV).  This fits well with the idea of the unique supremacy of Jesus that is developed in verses 15-18.  On the other hand first 18 still seems the direct point in Paul’s mind, though one could counter—as we did—that the supremacy element represents the over all point. 

            Others stay with “firstborn of every creature” or the near verbal equivalent (ASV, GW, NASB, Rotherham, RSV, Young’s Literal).

            Weymouth seems to try to bridge these two approaches by translation:  “the Firstborn and Lord of all creation.”

            Yet others seem to come out explicitly for Jesus as a created being:  “coming into existence before all living things” (BBE). 

 

            5.  The other major proof text for the doctrine that one is likely to encounter is Revelation 3:14, which is interpreted as meaning Jesus was the first entity created.

 

            Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.

 

            6.  Either the Scriptures blatantly contradict or there is another reasonable meaning for the words that would be equally true to the language but mean something dramatically different.

 

            A.  The wording could equally well mean that Christ was the one who “began” the creation, rather than that He Himself was created.  This was because it was through His efforts and planning and guidance that things were “designed,” overseen, and carried out.   He “began” it and He “completed” it.  This approach could also carry the image of His “supervising”/ruling over the entire process (cf. the NIV in particular). 

 

            B.  Some alternate translations that convey such an image.

            CEV:  “I am the faithful and true witness and the source of God's creation. Listen to what I say.”

            GW:  “the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God’s creation.”

            TEV:  “the faithful and true witness, who is the origin of all that God has created.”

            Holman:  “the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says.”

            Young”  “the witness--the faithful and true--the chief of the creation of God.”

            NIV:  “the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

# 011 #

Jesus Christ’s Teaching:

Identical with that of the Apostles

 

 

            Many people attempt to undermine the authority of the apostolic message by insisting such things as, “Well, that’s admittedly what Paul wanted, but I’m interested in what Jesus wanted.”  In actuality, Paul was expressing what Jesus wanted!

 

            1.  Being closer to Christ than we are by two thousand years, the natural assumption has to be that the apostles were far better prepared than we are to know what Christ intended mankind to believe and practice. 

 

            The sad fact is that it is only sometimes that people have a text that genuinely seems to set different alleged standards than the apostles (think the matter of divorce in 1 Corinthians 7, for example). 

More often the game is to take some specific instruction of Paul and try to play it off against our own interpretation of some vague or broad statement of Jesus that might-- with the application of creative imagination--uphold our own preferences.  Or might be a tremendous misreading of Jesus’ intent! 

The apostles were in a far better position to know the true message and its purpose and not us, two thousand years later, in our advocacy of a theology incompatible with the apostles.    

 

            2.  The message of the apostles must have accurately presented Jesus’ gospel, for Jesus promised them the inspiration necessary to accomplish that task.  

            John 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

            John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.   13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.   14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.   15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.

            (Weymouth) John 16:12  "I have much more to say to you, but you are unable at present to bear the burden of it.   13 But when He has come--the Spirit of Truth--He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak as Himself originating what He says, but all that He hears He will speak, and He will make known the future to you.   14 He will glorify me, because He will take of what is mine and will make it known to you.   15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said that the Spirit of Truth takes of what is mine and will make it known to you.”

 

             3.  What the apostles taught was “first” spoken by Jesus and this was confirmed by the miracles they worked.

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];   4 God also bearing [them] witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

Luke stresses the reliability of what was known about Jesus and His teaching by stressing this same basic fact--those who first taught it had been there to see it:  Luke 1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,   2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

            Jesus Himself had this in mind during His ministry:  John 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.  

 

            4.  The apostles were instructed to teach “all” that Jesus had taught them.  Hence, they were denied the liberty of leaving out any of it (such as would have been the case if there had been a “secret teaching” segment just for the “more spiritual”).

            Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.   19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:   20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

            5.  There were things that Jesus intentionally did not speak about during His personal ministry and would do so after His death.  Hence it would be natural for the apostles to write about subjects Jesus had little or nothing touched upon.

            John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.   13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

(Weymouth) John 16:12  "I have much more to say to you, but you are unable at present to bear the burden of it.   13 But when He has come--the Spirit of Truth--He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak as Himself originating what He says, but all that He hears He will speak, and He will make known the future to you.”

            “Ye cannot bear them now” (16:12) as the cause for Jesus not delivering everything He had to say during His ministry:  This reality is referred to in the Synoptics as well:

            Mark 4:33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear [it].

            (ISV) Mark 4:33 With many other parables like these Jesus kept speaking the word to them according to their ability to understand them.

 

            6.  The apostle Peter taught that which Jesus had taught.

 

            A.  It was Jesus’ teaching that he shared in Samaria.

 

            Acts 8:25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.  Note that “the word of the Lord” and “the gospel” are presented as synonyms of each other.

 

            2.  The apostles (not just Peter alone) spoke Jesus’ commandments to their converts.

            2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:   2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.

            In the KJV rendering and that of a few others the commands are those of the apostles; the bulk of translations make it the commandment of the Lord spoken through or by the apostles.  For example:

            (ASV) 2 Peter 3:2 that ye should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles:

           

            7.  The apostle Paul taught that which Jesus had taught.  Assuming that his testimony was truthful—and we have every reason to do so (see point 5 above)—then when he refers to precepts that have no obvious rooting in the earthly words of Jesus, it must have come from that which Jesus delivered via the Holy Spirit.

 

            A.  Paul learned the gospel he taught from Christ.

 

            Galatians 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.   12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.     

 

             B.  What Paul taught Roman officials was the Lord’s teaching.

 

            Acts 13:12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. 

            Most translations substitute “teaching” for “doctrine,” for example:  (Young) Acts 13:12 then the proconsul having seen what hath come to pass, did believe, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.

 

            C.  In his missionary journeys, Paul taught Jesus’ word/message.

 

            Acts 15:35 Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.   36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, [and see] how they do.

 

            D.  What Paul wrote about the use of spiritual gifts in the church assembly came from the Lord.

           

            1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

 

            E.  Paul’s teaching on marriage came from the Lord.

 

            1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] husband:

 

            F.  It was the Lord who told Paul what would happen when He returns.

 

            1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.   16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:   17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

# 012 #

Physical Resurrection of Jesus—

Its Importance and the

Evidence For It

 

 

            The bodily resurrection of Jesus is the central miracle of the New Testament, in comparison to which all the others are secondary in importance.  Hence unbelievers—both outside and within the “Christian churches”--single out this event for some of their most vigorous criticisms.  The Christian needs to be grounded in both why the event is so crucial and the evidence that rules out their alternative explanations.

 

 

            1.  The literal resurrection of Jesus from the physically dead is central to New Testament faith.

            1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;   2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.   3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;   4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:   5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:   6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.   7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.   8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.   9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.   10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.   11 Therefore whether [it were] I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.  

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?   13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:   14 And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain.   15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.   16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:   17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins.   18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.   19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

 

 

            2.  The bodily resurrection is crucial to accepting Him as a fully reliable teacher:  If he falsely predicted His resurrection, He was nothing short of a false prophet and deserved the death He was given.

            Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Matthew 20:17 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,   18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,   19 And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify [him]: and the third day he shall rise again.

            Matthew 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.   32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

 

 

            3.  The disciples could not have invented the resurrection story out of whole cloth because they did not expect the resurrection (though they had been promised it would come) and found it extraordinarily difficult to come to terms even with the idea of His betrayal and death—much less any conquest of death afterwards.

            Mark 9:8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.   9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.   10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

            Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and [of] the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.   32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.   33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

            Luke 18:31 Then he took [unto him] the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.   32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:   33 And they shall scourge [him], and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.   34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

            (Rotherham) 8:34 And, they not one of these things, understood, and this saying was hidden from them and the could not comprehend the things spoken.

           

 

            4.  The disciples could not have stolen the body from the tomb.

 

            A.  They were too disorganized in their thinking and too broken in heart to have pulled it off.

            Mark 14:26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.   27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.   45 And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him.   46 And they laid their hands on him, and took him.   47 And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.   48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and [with] staves to take me?   49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.   50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

 

            B.  The Roman guard at the tomb would have prevented any attempt at theft.

 

            (1)  The posting of a guard was a natural thing to do in the light of the strange stories about His having predicted a resurrection—believe them or not, if you were a foe you wanted to assure that body stayed in the tomb.

            Matthew 27:62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,   63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.   64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.   65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make [it] as sure as ye can.   66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

 

            (2)  To allow the disciples to steal the body—whether due to sleep or in exchange for accepting a bribe—was a guaranteed death sentence for a Roman soldier.  Unless their superiors knew that their excuse was a lie to begin with to help their Jewish priestly “allies.”

            This is the situation depicted in the gospels.  Matthew 28:11 Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.   12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,   13 Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him [away] while we slept.   14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.   15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

 

            The death penalty for the “escape” of any one in Roman custody can be illustrated in the Roman soldiers readiness to kill Paul and other prisoners lest they survive a shipwreck and flee.  Acts 27:41 And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.   42 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.   43 But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from [their] purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast [themselves] first [into the sea], and get to land:   44 And the rest, some on boards, and some on [broken pieces] of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land.    

 

 

            5.  Neither the Roman officials nor the Jewish leaders had any reason to remove the body from the tomb.  If they had done so, all that would have been necessary to expose the “fraud” of the resurrection would have been to promptly drag the rotting but still distinguishable shape in front of the public.  Gross, but do you for a second believe that would have stopped them when their pride was so much at stake?    

 

 

            6.  The resurrection story could not have originated because the disciples went to the wrong burial tomb. 

 

            A.  Some have argued that the darkness misled them.  However, the Bible tells us that it was already getting daylight when the first people arrived.

            Mark 16:2 And very early in the morning the first [day] of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

            (Weymouth) So, very soon after sunrise on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.

 

            B.  Others have contended that none of the disciples knew the actual tomb site.

           

1.  If so, their opponents were utterly insane incompetents for not simply escorting the disciples to the real tomb so they could verify that Jesus was still dead.

 

            2.  The disciples could have learned the exact burial site either from those who carried the body to the tomb or from the owner of the tomb himself since he was a disciple.

            Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.   44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling [unto him] the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.   45 And when he knew [it] of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.   46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.

            John 19:38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave [him] leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

 

            3.  Utterly destructive of this theory is the fact that certain female disciples were present within eyesight of the actual burial location.  Making a mistake as to location was not an option!

            Mark 15:46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.   47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary [the mother] of Joses beheld where he was laid.

            Luke 23:52 This [man] went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.   53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.   54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.   55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.   56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.  24:1 Now upon the first [day] of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain [others] with them.   2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

 

 

            7.  Yet others speculate that Jesus only “swooned” (passed out) on the cross.  He did not really die there.  This is utterly impossible.

 

            A.  The Romans were professionals:   No body with life left in it was going to be “accidentally” removed from the cross!

 

            B.  The Romans were professionals:  No still alive body was going to stumble its way out of a tomb they guarded.  It might be alive as it left, but it wouldn’t be after they dealt with it.

 

            C.  Jesus was in no physical condition to escape the tomb, much less leave the vivid impression of “aliveness” that He left with His disciples in His resurrection appearances.

 

            (1)  Jesus had undergone severe beatings prior to the crucifixion--Matthew 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered [him] to be crucified.   And a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

            Matthew 27:30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.   31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify [him].  

 

            (2)  He was in such a pitiful physical shape that He could not even carry His own cross--Matthew 27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

 

            (3)  Then we have to factor in the extreme physical pain and anguish while being on the cross.  The ability to leave the tomb could not possibly have existed.  Even the ability to survive being carried out requires a great deal of imagination!

 

            D.  Pilate confirmed that Jesus was dead before releasing the body to be buried.

            Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.   44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling [unto him] the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.   45 And when he knew [it] of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

 

            E.  Roman soldiers knew that to let a prisoner escape his punishment meant they were liable to death themselves. 

            The example of the Philippian jailer--Acts 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.  

            The example of Paul’s guards--Acts 27:42 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape.

 

 

            8.  Others theorize that the disciples merely saw “visions” of the resurrected Jesus.

 

            A.  That the disciples were not in the necessary frame of mind—i.e., emotionally aroused, excited, expective of something great happening—can be seen in the fact that the disciples did not want to accept the reality of the resurrection.

            In addition to the scriptures examined in Point 3 above we can add . . .

            Mark 16:9 Now when [Jesus] was risen early he first [day] of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.   10 [And] she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.   11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.   12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.   13 And they went and told [it] unto the residue: neither believed they them.   14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

            (New International Version)  16:14  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

            Luke 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.   10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women that were] with them, which told these things unto the apostles.   11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.   12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.    

            (ISV NT) 24:11 But these words seemed nonsense to them, and they refused to believe them.   12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. He stooped down and saw only the linen cloths. Then he went home wondering about what had happened.

 

            B.  Phenomena occurred during the resurrection appearances that can not have been mere visionary in nature.

 

            (1)  Jesus’ body could be touched and felt

 

(a)  When some of His disciples feared that they were seeing a “spirit” (which would be consistent with a visionary experience), He encouraged them to touch his body and confirm the reality of his presence.   Luke 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.   37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.   38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?   39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.   40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them [his] hands and [his] feet.  

 

            (b)  He encouraged Thomas to remove His doubts about the tangibility and physicality of the resurrection body by the same means.  John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.   25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.   26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you.   27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.   28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.   29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.

 

            (2)  Jesus could and did eat food—the same food others were partaking of.  This is inconsistent with both a visionary event and utterly destructive of any “non-physical” reality of the resurrection body.

            Luke 24:40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them [his] hands and [his] feet.   41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?   42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.   43 And he took [it], and did eat before them.

            (Weymouth) 24:41 But, while they still could not believe it for joy and were full of astonishment, He asked them, "Have you any food here?"

            John 21:9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.   10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.   11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.   12 Jesus saith unto them, Come [and] dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.   13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.   14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.   15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

            Acts 10:37 That word, [I say], ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;   38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.   39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:   40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;   41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, [even] to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.