Category: Foundations of Doctrine

What is Election? (guest post)

What is Election? (guest post)

The following is provided by our dear friend, the eminent theologian and most learned scholar, James Quiggle…

Some may not know what election is, others many not understand, and many may have heard only a distorted view of election. Here is a brief explanation. First a definition.

Election. The choice of a sovereign God, 1) to give the gift of grace-faith-salvation to effect the salvation of some sinners, and 2) to take no action, positive or negative, to either effect or deny salvation to other sinners. The decree of election includes all means necessary to effectuate salvation in those elected. [Quiggle, “Dictionary of Doctrinal Words,” s. v. “Election (1)”]

The Greek word translated “he chose” in Ephesians 1:4 (most versions) is eklégō [Zodhiates, s. v. “1586”]. The word means “to select, to choose,” and is translated choose, chose, chosen, or elect in twenty-two verses. This word, as used by the Greeks and Romans, and as used by the New Testament writers, does not necessarily imply an adverse or negative action toward those not chosen. Nor, as used by the New Testament writers in regard to election to salvation, does this word imply something meritorious in those chosen, or something undesirable in those not chosen. When used with regard to salvation, eklégō simply means God made a choice. [Quiggle, “God’s Choices,” 17.]

God, before he created anything, saw all human beings as sinners. In the foreordaining acts of God to sovereignly make a universe according to his purpose in creating, God created a sinless human being, Adam. God chose to allow Adam to choose his path in life. The choices available to Adam were continued submission and obedience to God’s authority, Genesis 2:17, or rebellion against God. Adam chose rebellion, Genesis 3:6. The principle of rebellion against God is known as “sin.” Adam’s disobedience to God’s commandment added the principle of rebellion, sin, to his human nature, permanently changing Adam from sinless to sinner.

Adam was the seminal and legal representative of his descendants: his sin became their sin. Seminally his sin became their sin because Adam’s sin changed his human nature, adding the principle of rebellion against God. When Adam procreated, his sinful nature was inherited by his descendants, Genesis 5:3. Thus, Romans 5:12, sin entered the world through one man’s sin and spread to all human beings, so that all in Adam die, 1 Corinthians 15:22. Legally, Adam was the representative of his race, the legal head because the seminal head. The judicial guilt of Adam’s sin was imputed to his descendants. (Just as the righteousness of Christ is imputed to those who are his “descendants,” not physically, but those who believe on him for salvation.)

God, then, in the process of his foreordaining choices, saw all human beings—the descendants of Adam— as sinners because of Adam’s sin. God sovereignly chose to save some sinners, justly leaving the rest as he found them. God never says why he made an electing choice, nor the reasons for the choice, nor the reasons for his particular choices (which individuals he would elect). God, with all his attributes acting in union and harmony, chose to establish a covenant relationship with some sinners, and bring them into that covenant through salvation. God made a decision of his will, not an emotional decision. God’s decision toward the non-elect to leave them as he found them, in their sin, was also not an emotional decision, but a decision of his will that, like the decision to elect some, would fulfill his purpose in creating.

God’s love and mercy in election was his decision to seek the best good for some sinners, without expectation of recompense or reciprocity, and without consideration of their merit (they had none) or demerit, 1 John 4:10. He made this decision without favoritism toward the elect. Those God elected were chosen in love and mercy (Ephesians 1:4; 2:4) to be saved, sanctified, and adopted, to the praise of his glory. That same love does not prevent any non-elect from choosing to come to God through faith in God’s testimony concerning salvation to believe and be saved.

Because election does not prejudice God against the non-elect, God would, in fact, act savingly toward any non-elect if they did choose to seek him and come to him for salvation. But their desire for their sin persuades them to make the choice to reject God. Sin is an attribute of fallen human nature, a principle or attribute of evil that motivates human beings to rebel against God, disobey his commandments, and seek a path in life apart from God. Sin has authority (dominion, rule) over the sinner, not as some invincible overlord, but as an innate part of human nature constructively working with all the other attributes of human nature to persuasively incline the will to choose an act of sinning. The evil attribute sin influences every other attribute with the inclination to sin, and in that sense sin can be said to dominate the will. The sinner freely chooses sinning because his will is of itself always inclined to choose sinning, and as being rebellious and disobedient toward God never desires to change its inclination to choose sinning to rebel against God, disobey his commandments, and seek a path in life apart from God.

The propitiation (atonement) Christ made on the cross for sin completely satisfied God’s justice for the crime of sin, all sin, 1 John 2:2; Romans 3:25. Propitiation (atonement) powers redemption, but propitiation is not redemption. Propitiation is directed toward God to satisfy God’s justice for the crime of sin. God’s justice being satisfied, God could act righteously to redeem sinners according to his sovereign choices.

God, for reasons suitable to his purpose in creating, reasons known only to himself, acted sovereignly to choose to redeem some sinners (election, Ephesians 1:4) by applying the merit of Christ’s propitiation, through his gift of grace-faith-salvation (Ephesians 2:8) to their spiritual need, thereby regenerating their soul, leading to the sinner’s exercise of faith, and the forgiveness of sins. Election guarantees the salvation of the elect, but neither helps nor hinders the non-elect, who could be saved, if they would freely choose to be saved. But the desire of the non-elect for their sin is so powerful they do not choose to be saved. Thus the necessity of God’s gift of grace-faith-salvation to effect faith and salvation in the sinner.

An illustration of election. The river of sinful humankind is justly racing toward the waterfall of death emptying into the lake of eternal fire; God reaches into the river and saves many; he prevents no one from swimming to the safety of the heavenly shore; he puts his saved people on the shore encouraging all to believe on Christ and be saved; he saves all that come to him by faith in his testimony of salvation.

A complete explanation of foreordination and election may be found in my book, “God’s Choices, the Doctrines of Foreordination, Election, and Predestination.”

The 4-fold Gospel (A.B.Simpson)

The 4-fold Gospel (A.B.Simpson)

Perhaps one of my favorite articles by A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, is the 4-fold Gospel. This article looks at 4 ministries of Jesus found in the 4 Gospels: Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, Soon Coming King.

 

The link below is provided by permission of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. As with them, I pray it blesses you.

 

The 4-Fold Gospel PDF

The New Hampshire Baptist Confession

The New Hampshire Baptist Confession

I. OF THE SCRIPTURES.

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; [2062] that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, [2063] and truth without any mixture of error for its matter; [2064] that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; [2065] and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true centre of Christian union, [2066] and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. [2067]

II. OF THE TRUE GOD.

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; [2068] inexpressibly glorious in holiness, [2069] and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; [2070] that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; [2071] equal in every divine perfection, [2072] and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. [2073]

III. OF THE FALL OF MAN.

We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; [2074] but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; [2075] in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, [2076] not by constraint, but choice; [2077] being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, [2078] without defense or excuse. [2079]

IV. OF THE WAY OF SALVATION.

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, [2080] through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God; [2081] who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin; [2082] honored the divine law by his personal obedience, [2083] and by his death made a full atonement for our sins; [2084] that having risen from the dead, he is now enthroned in heaven; [2085] and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Saviour. [2086]

V. OF JUSTIFICATION.

We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ [2087] secures to such as believe in him is Justification; [2088] that Justification includes the pardon of sin, [2089] and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; [2090] that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; [2091] by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God; [2092] that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. [2093]

VI. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION.

We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; [2094] that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; [2095] and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; [2096] which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. [2097]

VII. OF GRACE IN REGENERATION.

We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; [2098] that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind; [2099] that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, [2100] so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; [2101] and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life. [2102]

VIII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH.

We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; [2103] whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, [2104] we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; [2105] at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour. [2106]

IX. OF GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE.

We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; [2107] that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; [2108] that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable; [2109] that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; [2110] that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; [2111] that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel; [2112] that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; [2113] and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence. [2114]

X. OF SANCTIFICATION.

We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; [2115] that it is a progressive work; [2116] that it is begun in regeneration; [2117] and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means — especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. [2118]

XI. OF THE PERSEl’ERANCE OF SAINTS.

We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; [2119] that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; [2120] that a special Providence watches over their welfare; [2121] and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. [2122]

XII. OF THE HARMONY OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL.

We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government; [2123] that it is holy, just, and good; [2124] and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin; [2125] to deliver them from winch, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church. [2126]

XIII. OF A GOSPEL CHURCH.

We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, [2127] associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; [2128] observing the ordinances of Christ; [2129] governed by his laws, [2130] and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word; [2131] that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons, [2132] whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

XIV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER.

We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, [2133] into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; [2134] to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; [2135] that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord’s Supper, [2136] in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; [2137] proceeded always by solemn self-examination. [2138]

XV. OF THE CHRISTIAN SABBATH.

We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord’s Day, or Christian Sabbath; [2139] and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes, [2140] by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations; [2141] by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private [2142] and public; [2143] and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God. [2144]

XVI. OF CIVIL GOl’ERNMENT.

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; [2145] and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; [2146] except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, [2147] who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. [2148]

XVII. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED.

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; [2149] that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem; [2150] while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse; [2151] and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. [2152]

XVIII. OF THE WORLD TO COME.

We believe that the end of the world is approaching; [2153] that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, [2154] and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; [2155] that a solemn separation will then take place; [2156] that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; [2157] and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness. [2158]


Footnotes:

[2062] 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Samuel 23:2; Acts 1:16; iii. 21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psalm 119. Romans 3:1, 2.

[2063] 2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Pet. i. 10-12; Acts 11:14; Romans 1:16; Mark 16:16; John 5:38, 39.

[2064] Proverbs 30:5, 6; John 17:17; Revelation 22:18, 19; Romans 3:4.

[2065] Romans 2:12; John 12:47, 48; 1 Corinthians 4:3, 4; Luke 10:10-16; xii. 47, 48.

[2066] Philippians 3:16; Ephesians 4:3-6; Philippians 2:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 1 Pet. iv. 11.

[2067] 1 John 4:1; Isaiah 8:20; 1 Thess. v. 21; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:6; Jude 3. 5; Ephesians 6:17; Psalm 119:59, 60; Philippians 1:9-11.

[2068] John 4:24; Psalm 147:5; lxxxiii. 18; Hebrews 3:4; Romans 1:20; Jeremiah 10:10.

[2069] Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Pet. i. 15, 16; Revelation 4:6-8.

[2070] Mark 12:30; Revelation 4:11; Matthew 10:37; Jeremiah 2:12, 13.

[2071] Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7.

[2072] John 10:30; v. 17; xiv. 23; xvii. 5, 10; Acts 5:3, 4; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11; Philippians 2:5, 6.

[2073] Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 1:4, 5; comp. ii., vii.

[2074] Genesis 1:27; i. 31; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Acts 16:26; Genesis 2:16.

[2075] Genesis 3:6-24; Romans 5:12.

[2076] Romans 5:19; John 3:6; Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:15-19; viii. 7.

[2077] Isaiah 53:6; Genesis 6:12; Romans 3:9-18.

[2078] Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 1:18; i. 32; ii. 1-16; Galatians 3:10; Matthew 20:15.

[2079] Ezekiel 18:19, 20; Romans 1:20; iii. 19; Galatians 3:22.

[2080] Ephesians 2:5; Matthew 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; Acts 15:11.

[2081] John 3:16; i. 1-14; Hebrews 4:14; xii. 24.

[2082] Philippians 2:6, 7; Hebrews 2:9; ii. 14; 2 Corinthians 5:21.

[2083] Isaiah 42:21; Philippians 2:8; Galatians 4:4, 5; Romans 3:21.

[2084] Isaiah 53:4, 5; Matthew 20:28; Romans 4:25; iii. 21-26; 1 John 4:10; ii. 2; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3; Hebrews 9:13-15.

[2085] Hebrews 1:8; i. 3; viii. 1; Colossians 3:1-4.

[2086] Hebrews 7:25; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 2:18; vii. 26; Psalm 89:19; xiv.

[2087] John 1:16; Ephesians 3:8.

[2088] Acts 13:39; Isaiah 3:11, 12; Romans 8:1.

[2089] Romans 5:9; Zechariah 13:1; Matthew 9:6; Acts 10:43.

[2090] Romans 5:17; Titus 3:5, 6; 1 Pet. iii. 7; 1 John 2:25; Romans 5:21.

[2091] Romans 4:4, 5; v. 21; vi. 23; Philippians 3:7-9.

[2092] Romans 5:19; iii. 24-26; iv. 23-25; 1 John 2:12.

[2093] Romans 5:1, 2; v. 3; v. 11; 1 Corinthians 1:30, 31; Matthew 6:33; 1 Timothy 4:8.

[2094] Isaiah 55:1; Revelation 22:17; Luke 14:17.

[2095] Romans 16:26; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:15-17.

[2096] John 5:40; Matthew 23:37; Romans 9:32; Proverbs 1:24; Acts 13:46.

[2097] John 3:19; Matthew 11:20; Luke 19:27; 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

[2098] John 3:3; iii. 6, 7; 1 Corinthians 1:14; Revelation 8:7-9; xxi. 27.

[2099] 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26; Deuteronomy 30:6; Romans 2:28, 29; v. 5; 1 John 4:7.

[2100] John 3:8; i. 13; James 1:16-18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 2:13.

[2101] 1 Pet. i. 22-25; 1 John 5:1; Ephesians 4:20-24; Colossians 3:9-11.

[2102] Ephesians 5:9; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 3:14-21; Matthew 3:8-10; vii. 20; 1 John 5:4, 18.

[2103] Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Ephesians 2:8; 1 John 5:1.

[2104] John 16:8; Acts 2:37, 38; xvi. 30, 31.

[2105] Luke 18:13; xv. 18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Romans 10:12, 13; Psalm 51.p>[2106] Romans 10:9-11; Acts 3:22, 23; Hebrews 4:14; Psalm 2:6; Hebrews 1:8; viii. 25; 2 Timothy 1:12.

[2107] 2 Timothy 1:8, 9; Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Pet. i. 1, 2; Romans 11:5, 6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hosea 12:9.

[2108] 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matthew 20:16; Acts 15:14.

[2109] Exodus 33:18, 19; Matthew 20:15; Ephesians 1.ll; Romans 9:23, 24; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 11:28, 29; James 1:17, 18; 2 Timothy 1:9; Romans 11:32-36.

[2110] l 1 Corinthians 4:7; i. 26-31; Romans 3:27; iv. l6; Colossians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 3:5-7; xv. 10; 1 Pet. v. 10; Acts 1:24: 1 Thess. ii. 13; 1 Pet. ii. 9; Luke 18:7; John 15:10; Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thess. ii. 12.

[2111] 2 Timothy 2:10; 1 Corinthians 9:22; Romans 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Peter 1:10.

[2112] 1 Thess. i. 4-10.

[2113] Romans 8:28-30; Isaiah 42:16; Romans 11:29.

[2114] 2 Peter 1:10, 11; Philippians 3:12; Hebrews 6:11.

[2115] 1 Thess. iv. 3; 1 Thess. v. 23; 2 Corinthians 7:1; xiii. 9; Ephesians 1:4.

[2116] Proverbs 4:18; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 6:1; 2 Peter 1:5-8; Philippians 3:12-16.

[2117] John 2:29; Romans 8:5; John 3:6; Philippians 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:13, 14.

[2118] Philippians 2:12, 13; Ephesians 4:11, 12; 1 Pet. ii. 2; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Luke 11:35; ix. 23; Matthew 26:41; Ephesians 6:18; iv. 30.

[2119] John 8:31; 1 John 2:27, 28; iii. 9; v. 18.

[2120] 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matthew 13:20, 21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9.

[2121] Romans 8:28; Matthew 6:30-33; Jeremiah 32:40; Psalm 121:3; xci. 11, 12.

[2122] Philippians 1:6; ii. 12, 13; Jude 24, 25; Hebrews 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Hebrews 13:5; 1 John 4:4.

[2123] Romans 3:31; Matthew 5:17; Luke 16:17; Romans 3:20; iv. 15.

[2124] Romans 7:12; vii. 7, 14, 22; Galatians 3:21; Psalm 119.p>[2125] Romans 8:7, 8; Joshua 24:19; Jeremiah 13:23; John 6:44; v. 44.

[2126] Romans 8:2, 4; x. 4; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 8:10; Jude 20, 21; Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 16:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 12:28.

[2127] 1 Corinthians 1:1-13; Matthew 18:17; Acts 5:11; viii. 1; xi. 31; 1 Corinthians 4:17; xiv. 23; 3 John 1 Timothy 3:5.

[2128] Acts 2:41, 42; 2 Corinthians 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 5:12, 13.

[2129] 1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Romans 16:17-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23; Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 4:17.

[2130] Matthew 28:20; John 14:15; xv. 12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thess. iv. 2; 2 John Galatians 6:2; all the Epistles.

[2131] Ephesians 4:7; 1 Corinthians 14:12; Philippians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:14.

[2132] Philippians 1:1; Acts 14:23; xv. 22; 1 Timothy 3. Titus 1.p>[2133] Acts 8:36-39; Matthew 3:5, 6; John 3:22, 23; iv. 1, 2; Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; viii. 12; xvi. 32-34; xviii. 8.

[2134] Matthew 28:10; Acts 10:47, 48; Galatians 3:27, 28.

[2135] Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; 1 Pet. iii. 20, 21; Acts 22:16.

[2136] Acts 2:41, 42; Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts and Epistles.

[2137] 1 Corinthians 11:20; Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20.

[2138] 1 Corinthians 11:28; v. 1, 8; x. 3-32; xi. 17-32; John 6:26-71.

[2139] Acts 20:7; Genesis 2:3; Colossians 2:16, 17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2.

[2140] Exodus 20:8; Revelation 1:10; Psalm 118:24.

[2141] Isaiah 58:13, 14; lvi. 2-8.

[2142] Psalm 113:15.

[2143] Hebrews 10:24, 25; Acts 11:26; xiii. 44; Leviticus 19:30; Exod. 46. 3; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2, 3; Psalm 26:8; lxxxvii. 3.

[2144] Hebrews 4:3-11.

[2145] Romans 13:1-7; Deuteronomy 16:18; 1 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:23; Jeremiah 30:21.

[2146] Matthew 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. ii. 13; 1 Timothy 2:1-8.

[2147] Acts 5:29; Matthew 10:28; Daniel 3:15-18; vi. 7-10; Acts 4:18-20.

[2148] Matthew 23:10; Romans 14:4; Revelation 19:16; Psa.lxxii. 1l; ii.; Romans 14:9-13.

[2149] Malachi 3:18; Proverbs 12:26; Isaiah 5:20; Genesis 18:23; Jeremiah 15:19; Acts 10:34, 35; Romans 6:16.

[2150] Romans 1:17; vii. 6; 1 John 2:29; iii. 7; Romans 6:18, 22; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Proverbs 11:31; 1 Pet. iv. 17, 18.

[2151] 1 John 5:19; Galatians 3:10; John 3:36; Isaiah 57:21; Psalm 10:4; Isaiah 55:6, 7.

[2152] Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Proverbs 10:24; Luke 12:4, 5; ix. 23-26; John 12:25, 26; Ecclesiastes 3:17; Matthew 7:13, 14.

[2153] 1 Pet. iv. 7; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Hebrews 1:10-12; Matthew 24:35; 1 John 2:17; Matthew 28:20; xiii. 39, 40; 2 Peter 3:3-13.

[2154] Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7; Hebrews 9:28; Acts 3:21; 1 Thess. iv. 13-18; v. 1-11.

[2155] Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:12-59; Luke 14:14; Daniel 12:2; John 5:28, 29; vi. 40; xi. 25, 26; 2 Timothy 1:10; Acts 10:42.

[2156] Matthew 13:49; xiii. 37-43; xxiv. 30, 31; xxv. 31-33.

[2157] Matthew 25:35-41; Revelation 22:11; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Peter 2:9; Jude 7; Philippians 3:19; Romans 6:32; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11; John 4:36; 2 Corinthians 4:18.

[2158] Romans 3:5, 6; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12; Hebrews 6:1, 2; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:2-16; Revelation 20:11, 12; 1 John 2:28; iv. 17.

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Apostle’s Creed (Our Essential Creed)

Below, you will find the foundational statement of faith of all Reformed Christians. Officially codified in AD 390, this is a concise statement on the essentials of Christian Orthodoxy.

 

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

The third day he rose again from the dead:

He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

I believe in the Holy Ghost:

I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:

The forgiveness of sins:

The resurrection of the body:

And the life everlasting. Amen.

The Unfolding Revelation of Jesus

The Unfolding Revelation of Jesus

The whole of the Bible is the story of Jesus: Our Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, and soon coming King. The following is how each book presents Jesus and the verse associated with each presentation.

Genesis

  • Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15)
  • Shiloh (Genesis 49:10)

Exodus

  • Passover Lamb (Exodus 12:3)

Leviticus

  • Anointed High Priest (Leviticus 8:7-12)

Numbers

  • The lifted up healer {Bronze serpent} (Numbers 21:8-9; )
  • Star of Jacob (Numbers 24:17)
  • Scepter of Israel (Numbers 24:17)

Deuteronomy

  • Future Prophet Like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15)
  • The great Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4)

Joshua

  • Captain of the Lord’s army/Lord of the Hosts (Joshua 5:14)

Judges

  • Angel of the LORD (Judges 2:1)

Ruth

  • Kinsman redeemer

1 Samuel

  • The great judge (1 Samuel 2:10)

2 Samuel

  • Son of David (2 Samuel 7:12-13)

1 Kings

  • Lord God of Israel (1 Kings 8:15, 25)

2 Kings

  • Lord of the cherubim (2 Kings 19:15)

1 Chronicles

  • God of our salvation (1 Chronicles 16:35)

2 Chronicles

  • God of our ancestors (2 Chronicles 20:6)

Ezra

  • Lord of heaven and earth (Ezra 1:2)

Nehemiah

  • Covenant-keeping God (Nehemiah 1:5)

Esther

  • God of providence

Job

  • Risen and returning Redeemer (Job 19:25)

Psalms

  • Anointed Son (Psalm 2:2, 12)
  • Holy One (Psalm 16:10)
  • Good Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)
  • King of glory (Psalm 24:7-10)

Proverbs

  • Wisdom of God/Embodiment of wisdom (Proverbs 8)
  • Architect at Creation (Proverbs 8:30)

Ecclesiastes

  • The one above the sun

Song of Songs

  • Fairest among 10,000 (Song 5:10)
  • Altogether lovely (Song 5:16)
  • Our Beloved (Song 6:3)
  • Him who our soul loves (Song 3:4)

Isaiah

  • Virgin-born Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)
  • Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Servant (Isaiah 52:13)
  • Man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)

Jeremiah

  • The Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 33:16)

Lamentations

  • Faithful and compassionate (Lamentations 3:22-23, 31-33)

Ezekiel

  • The tender shoot (Ezekiel 17:22)
  • The one who has the right to judge (Ezekiel 21:27)

Daniel

  • The rock (Daniel 2:34)
  • One like a divine being (or like “the Son of God”) (Daniel 3:25)
  • One like the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13)

Hosea

  • King of the resurrection (Hosea 13:10-14)

Joel

  • God of the battle (Joel 2:11; Joel 3:2, 9-17)
  • Giver of the Spirit (Joel 2:28-32)

Amos

  • Lord God Almighty (Amos 4:13)
  • Plumb line (Amos 7:7-9)

Obadiah

  • Destroyer of the proud (Obadiah 1:8, 15)

Jonah

  • Risen prophet (Jonah 2:10)
  • God of the second chance (Jonah 3:1-2)
  • Long-suffering one (Jonah 4:9-11)

Micah

  • God of Israel (Micah 4:1-5)
  • Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • God who pardons (Micah 7:18-20)

Nahum

  • Avenging God (Nahum 1:2)
  • Bringer of good tidings (Nahum 1:15)

Habakkuk

  • Eternal (Habakkuk 1:12)
  • Pure (Habakkuk 1:13)
  • Glorious (Habakkuk 2:14)

Zephaniah

  • King of Israel (Zephaniah 3:15)

Haggai

  • Desire of all nations (Haggai 2:7)

Zechariah

  • My Servant (Zechariah 3:8)
  • The Branch (Zechariah 3:8)
  • Builder of the Temple (Zechariah 6:12-13)
  • King of triumphal entry (Zechariah 9:9)
  • Pierced one (Zechariah 12:10)
  • King of the earth (Zechariah 14:9)

Malachi

  • Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)

New Testament

Matthew

  • King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2; Matthew 27:37)

Mark

  • Servant (Mark 9:35; Mark 10:43-44)

Luke

  • Perfect man, Son of Man (Luke 2:40, 52; Luke 9:22, 58; Luke 22:48)

John

  • Ever Living God (John 1:1-5; John 20:28, 31)

Acts

  • Ascended Lord (Acts 1:9)

Romans

  • The Lord, our righteousness (Romans 10:4)

1 Corinthians

  • Our resurrection (1 Cor. 15)

2 Corinthians

  • God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3)

Galatians

  • Redeemer of those under the law (Galatians 4:4-5)

Ephesians

  • Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 2:19-20)
  • Giver of gifts (Ephesians 4:7-16)

Philippians

  • Supplier of every need (Philippians 1:19; Philippians 4:19)
  • Obedient servant (Philippians 2:5-8)

Colossians

  • Fullness of the Godhead (Colossians 1:9; Colossians. 2:9-10)

1 Thessalonians

  • The coming Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11)

2 Thessalonians

  • The all-consuming Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

1 Timothy

  • Savior of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:16)

2 Timothy

  • Author of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Righteous and rewarding judge (2 Timothy 4:8)

Titus

  • Our great God and Savior (Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10, 13; Titus 3:4)

Philemon

  • Payer of our debt

Hebrews

  • Appointed heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2, 4)
  • Greater than prophets or angels (Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 3:3)

James

  • Ever-present God (James 4:8)
  • Coming One (James 5:7-8)
  • Great Physician (James 5:15)

1 Peter

  • Spotless Lamb (1 Peter 1:19)
  • Great example (1 Peter 2:21-24)
  • Lord of glory (1 Peter 3:22)
  • Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)

2 Peter

  • Beloved Son (2 Peter 1:17)

1 John

  • Word of life (1 John 1:1)
  • Advocate (1 John 2:1-2)
  • Sacrifice (1 John 4:10)
  • Son of God (1 John 3:8; 1 John 4:15; 1 John 5:5)

2 John

  • Son of the Father (2 John 1:3)

3 John

  • The truth (3 John 1:4, 8)

Jude

  • Preserver and only wise God (Jude 1:1, 25)

Revelation

  • Alpha and Omega (Rev. 1:8)
  • Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5)
  • Root of David (Rev. 5:5)
  • King of Kings (Rev. 19:16)
  • Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16)
Cardinal Doctrines: the Non-negotiables of Our Faith

Cardinal Doctrines: the Non-negotiables of Our Faith

Our Foundations of Doctrine series laid out foundational doctrines for the Christian faith. We find it needful to expand upon that and to lay out 9 Cardinal Doctrines of True Churches: the Deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, Original Sin, Salvation by Grace, Salvation by Christ Alone, The Resurrection, Monotheism, the Holy Trinity, and the Gospel. 

These are not only foundational teachings but they are doctrines that cannot be negotiated upon as being requisite for the Christian Faith. These particular doctrines, in fact, are so important that they transcend denominations. A repudiation of any of these doctrines is considered anathema to Biblical Christianity. That may sound harsh but, given the widespread nature of false teaching, we must encourage Christians to take a firm stand.

We hope the coming series will be helpful to you. To begin, here is a summary

The Deity of Christ

John 8:24, “I said, therefore, to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”

This is where Jesus clearly taught what you cannot deny and you must affirm.

Jesus is God in flesh (John 8:58 with Exodus 3:14). See also John 1:1, 14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8

Salvation by Grace

“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” (Gal. 5:4).

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Both these verses show salvation is by grace through faith and not by works, and that to add works is to not be saved.

The Resurrection of Christ

“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith,” (1 Cor. 15:14). “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor. 15:17).

These verses clearly state that if you say that Jesus did not rise from the dead in the same body He died in as he prophesied in John 2:19-21, then your faith is useless.

The Gospel

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Gal. 1:8-9, NIV).

1 Cor. 15:1-4 defines what the gospel is: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

Monotheism

There is only one God (Exodus 20:3; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8)

“You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”  (Exodus 20:3-6).

Jesus is the only way to salvation

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'” (John 14:6)

Jesus declared that he was the only access to God the Father.  To deny this is to deny what Jesus said.

Jesus’ virgin birth

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which translated means, ‘God with us.’” (Matt. 1:23).

Without the virgin birth, we cannot substantiate the doctrine of the incarnation of Jesus being God in flesh.  This would put at risk what Jesus said above in John 8:24 where he said, “I said, therefore, to you, that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”

Doctrine of the Trinity

Matt. 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,”  (See also, Matt. 3:16-17; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:4-6.)

This doctrine is not represented by a single verse per se though it is hinted at.  The doctrine of the Trinity is arrived at systematically by looking at the totality of Scripture.  It is, nevertheless, the proper representation of scriptural revelation concerning the nature of God.

Original Sin

 Sin is not just murder, rape, or robbery. “Sin” is a word that describes any thought, word, deed, or state of being that fails to meet God’s standard of holiness and perfection. The Bible unambiguously proclaims that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). While the notion of generational curses and spirits is foreign to the text of Scripture, there is a sense in which all people are cursed as a result of an ancestor’s sin. Adam’s rebellion brought death to us all and tainted every aspect of our being (Genesis 3; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22; cf. Ephesians 2:3). God, however, has provided redemption through the atoning work of the “Second Adam,” Jesus Christ (Romans 5:12–21).

We will go into more detail in coming lessons. Until next time, Grace to you.

 

Overview of Theology

Overview of Theology

WE have found that we are entirely in agreement with Grace to You on Theology and are sharing their Overview of Theology for your benefit

The Holy Scriptures

We teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1Co 2:7-14; 2Pe 1:20, 21).

We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1Co 2:13; 1Th 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2Ti 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture, which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Ge 1:31; Ex 31:17).

We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Mt 5:18; 24:35; Jn 10:35; 16:12, 13; 17:17; 1Co 2:13; 2Ti 3:15-17; Heb 4:12; 2Pe 1:20, 21).

We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2Pe 1:20, 21) without error in the whole or in the part (Mt 5:18; 2Ti 3:16).

We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal, grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (Jn 7:17; 16:12-15; 1Co 2:7-15; 1Jn 2:20). It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.

God

We teach that there is but one living and true God (Dt 6:4; Isa 45:5-7; 1Co 8:4), an infinite, all-knowing Spirit (Jn 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19; 2Co 13:14)—each equally deserving worship and obedience.

God the Father

We teach that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace (Ps 145:8, 9; 1Co 8:6). He is the Creator of all things (Ge 1:1-31; Eph 3:9). As the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption (Ps 103:19; Ro 11:36). His fatherhood involves both His designation within the Trinity and His relationship with mankind. As Creator He is Father to all men (Eph 4:6), but He is Spiritual Father only to believers (Ro 8:14; 2Co 6:18). He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass (Eph 1:11). He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events (1Ch 29:11). In His sovereignty He is neither author nor approver of sin (Hab 1:13), nor does He abridge the accountability of moral, intelligent creatures (1Pe 1:17). He has graciously chosen from eternity past those whom He would have as His own (Eph 1:4-6); He saves from sin all those who come to Him through Jesus Christ; He adopts as His own all those who come to Him; and He becomes, upon adoption, Father to His own (Jn 1:12; Ro 8:15; Gal 4:5; Heb 12:5-9).

God the Son

We teach that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, possesses all the divine excellencies, and in these He is coequal, consubstantial, and coeternal with the Father (Jn 10:30; 14:9).

We teach that God the Father created “the heavens and the earth and all that is in them” according to His own will, through His Son, Jesus Christ, by whom all things continue in existence and in operations (Jn 1:3; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:2).

We teach that in the incarnation (God becoming man) Christ surrendered only the prerogatives of deity but nothing of the divine essence, either in degree or kind. In His incarnation, the eternally existing second person of the Trinity accepted all the essential characteristics of humanity and so became the God-man (Php 2:5-8; Col 2:9).

We teach that Jesus Christ represents humanity and deity in indivisible oneness (Mic 5:2; Jn 5:23; 14:9, 10; Col 2:9).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23, 25; Lk 1:26-35); that He was God incarnate (Jn 1:1, 14); and that the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem men, and rule over God’s kingdom (Ps 2:7-9; Isa 9:6; Jn 1:29; Php 2:9-11; Heb 7:25, 26; 1Pe 1:18, 19).

We teach that, in the incarnation, the second person of the Trinity laid aside His right to the full prerogatives of coexistence with God, assumed the place of a Son, and took on an existence appropriate to a servant while never divesting Himself of His divine attributes (Php 2:5-8).

We teach that our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross and that His death was voluntary, vicarious, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive (Jn 10:15; Ro 3:24, 25; 5:8; 1Pe 2:24).

We teach that on the basis of the efficacy of the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the punishment, the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin; and that he is declared righteous, given eternal life, and adopted into the family of God (Ro 3:25; 5:8, 9; 2Co 5:14, 15; 1Pe 2:24; 3:18).

We teach that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead and that He is now ascended to the right hand of the Father, where He now mediates as our Advocate and High-Priest (Mt 28:6; Lk 24:38, 39; Ac 2:30, 31; Ro 4:25; 8:34; Heb 7:25; 9:24; 1Jn 2:1).

We teach that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, God confirmed the deity of His Son and gave proof that God has accepted the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Jesus’ bodily resurrection is also the guarantee of a future resurrection life for all believers (Jn 5:26-29; 14:19; Ro 4:25; 6:5-10; 1Co 15:20, 23).

We teach that Jesus Christ will return to receive the church, which is His body, unto Himself at the Rapture and, returning with His church in glory, will establish His millennial kingdom on earth (Ac 1:9-11; 1Th 4:13-18; Rev 20).

We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the one through whom God will judge all mankind (Jn 5:22, 23):

  1. Believers (1Co 3:10-15; 2Co 5:10);
  2. Living inhabitants of the earth at His glorious return (Mt 25:31-46); and
  3. Unbelieving dead at the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11-15).

As the mediator between God and man (1Ti 2:5), the head of His body the church (Eph 1:22; 5:23; Col 1:18), and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David (Isa 9:6, 7; Eze 37:24-28; Lk 1:31-33), He is the final judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior (Mt 25:14-46; Ac 17:30, 31).

God the Holy Spirit

We teach that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, eternal, underived, possessing all the attributes of personality and deity, including intellect (1Co 2:10-13), emotions (Eph 4:30), will (1Co 12:11), eternality (Heb 9:14), omnipresence (Ps 139:7-10), omniscience (Isa 40:13, 14), omnipotence (Ro 15:13), and truthfulness (Jn 16:13). In all the divine attributes He is coequal and consubstantial with the Father and the Son (Mt 28:19; Ac 5:3, 4; 28:25, 26; 1Co 12:4-6; 2Co 13:14; and Jer 31:31-34 with Heb 10:15-17).

We teach that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to execute the divine will with relation to all mankind. We recognize His sovereign activity in the creation (Ge 1:2), the incarnation (Mt 1:18), the written revelation (2Pe 1:20, 21), and the work of salvation (Jn 3:5-7).

We teach that a unique work of the Holy Spirit in this age began at Pentecost when He came from the Father as promised by Christ (Jn 14:16, 17; 15:26) to initiate and complete the building of the body of Christ. His activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ and transforming believers into the image of Christ (Jn 16:7-9; Ac 1:5; 2:4; Ro 8:29; 2Co 3:18; Eph 2:22).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ (1Co 12:13). The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption (Ro 8:9-11; 2Co 3:6; Eph 1:13).

We teach that the Holy Spirit is the divine teacher who guided the apostles and prophets into all truth as they committed to writing God’s revelation, the Bible (2Pe 1:19-21). Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit (Ro 8:9-11; Eph 5:18; 1Jn 2:20, 27).

We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself nor His gifts by ostentatious displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers in the most holy faith (Jn 16:13, 14; Ac 1:8; 1Co 12:4-11; 2Co 3:18).

We teach, in this respect, that God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today and that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth, and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers (1Co 12:4-11; 13:8-10; 2Co 12:12; Eph 4:7-12; Heb 2:1-4).

Man

We teach that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and moral responsibility to God (Ge 2:7, 15-25; Jas 3:9).

We teach that God’s intention in the creation of man was that man should glorify God, enjoy God’s fellowship, live his life in the will of God, and by this accomplish God’s purpose for man in the world (Isa 43:7; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11).

We teach that in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, man lost his innocence; incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death; became subject to the wrath of God; and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no recuperative powers to enable him to recover himself, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ge 2:16, 17; 3:1-19; Jn 3:36; Ro 3:23; 6:23; 1Co 2:14; Eph 2:1-3; 1Ti 2:13, 14; 1Jn 1:8).

We teach that because all men were in Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been transmitted to all men of all ages, Jesus Christ being the only exception. All men are thus sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration (Ps 14:1-3; Jer 17:9; Ro 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12).

Salvation

We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (Jn 1:12; Eph 1:4-7; 2:8-10; 1Pe 1:18, 19).

Election

We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He graciously regenerates, saves, and sanctifies (Ro 8:28-30; Eph 1:4-11; 2Th 2:13; 2Ti 2:10; 1Pe 1:1, 2).

We teach that sovereign election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord (Eze 18:23, 32; 33:11; Jn 3:18, 19, 36; 5:40; 2Th 2:10-12; Rev 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (Jn 6:37-40, 44; Ac 13:48; Jas 4:8).

We teach that the unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part nor to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His sovereign grace and mercy (Eph 1:4-7; Titus 3:4-7; 1Pe 1:2).

We teach that election should not be looked upon as based merely on abstract sovereignty. God is truly sovereign but He exercises this sovereignty in harmony with His other attributes, especially His omniscience, justice, holiness, wisdom, grace, and love (Ro 9:11-16). This sovereignty will always exalt the will of God in a manner totally consistent with His character as revealed in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 11:25-28; 2Ti 1:9).

Regeneration

We teach that regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (Jn 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God (Jn 5:24), when the repentant sinner, as enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Genuine regeneration is manifested by fruits worthy of repentance as demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works will be its proper evidence and fruit (1Co 6:19, 20; Eph 5:17-21; Php 2:12b; Col 3:12-17; 2Pe 1:4-11). This obedience causes the believer to be increasingly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Co 3:18). Such a conformity is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Ro 8:16, 17; 2Pe 1:4; 1Jn 3:2, 3).

Justification

We teach that justification before God is an act of God (Ro 8:30, 33) by which He declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Lk 13:3; Ac 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Ro 2:4; 2Co 7:10; Isa 55:6, 7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Ro 10:9, 10; 1Co 12:3; 2Co 4:5; Php 2:11). This righteousness is apart from any virtue or work of man (Ro 3:20; 4:6) and involves the placing of our sins on Christ (Col 2:14; 1Pe 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us (1Co 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2Co 5:21). By this means God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Ro 3:26).

Sanctification

We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) unto God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and is therefore identified as a saint. This sanctification is positional and instantaneous and should not be confused with progressive sanctification. This sanctification has to do with the believer’s standing, not his present walk or condition (Ac 20:32; 1Co 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2Th 2:13; Heb 2:11; 3:1; 10:10, 14; 13:12; 1Pe 1:2).

We teach that there is also by the work of the Holy Spirit a progressive sanctification by which the state of the believer is brought closer to the likeness of Christ through obedience to the Word of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. The believer is able to live a life of increasing holiness in conformity to the will of God, becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 17:17, 19; Ro 6:1-22; 2Co 3:18; 1Th 4:3, 4; 5:23).

In this respect, we teach that every saved person is involved in a daily conflict—the new creation in Christ doing battle against the flesh—but adequate provision is made for victory through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. The struggle nevertheless stays with the believer all through this earthly life and is never completely ended. All claims to the eradication of sin in this life are unscriptural. Eradication of sin is not possible, but the Holy Spirit does provide for victory over sin (Gal 5:16-25; Php 3:12; Col 3:9, 10; 1Pe 1:14-16; 1Jn 3:5-9).

Security

We teach that all the redeemed once saved are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (Jn 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Ro 5:9, 10; 8:1, 31-39; 1Co 1:4-9; Eph 4:30; Heb 7:25; 13:5; 1Pe 1:4, 5; Jude 24).

We teach that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an excuse for sinful living and carnality (Ro 6:15-22; 13:13, 14; Gal 5:13, 16, 17, 25, 26; Titus 2:11-14).

Separation

We teach that separation from sin is clearly called for throughout the Old and New Testaments, and that the Scriptures clearly indicate that in the last days apostasy and worldliness shall increase (2Co 6:14-7:1; 2Ti 3:1-5).

We teach that out of deep gratitude for the undeserved grace of God granted to us and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God and so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. We also teach that separation from any association with religious apostasy, and worldly and sinful practices is commanded of us by God (Ro 12:1, 2; 1Co 5:9-13; 2Co 6:14-7:1; 1Jn 2:15-17; 2Jn 9-11).

We teach that believers should be separated unto our Lord Jesus Christ (2Th 1:11, 12; Heb 12:1, 2) and affirm that the Christian life is a life of obedient righteousness demonstrated by a beatitude attitude (Mt 5:2-12) and a continual pursuit of holiness (Ro 12:1, 2; 2Co 7:1; Heb 12:14; Titus 2:11-14; 1Jn 3:1-10).

The Church

We teach that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1Co 12:12, 13), the bride of Christ (2Co 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7, 8), of which Christ is the head (Eph 1:22; 4:15; Col 1:18).

We teach that the formation of the church, the body of Christ, began on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the Rapture (1Co 15:51, 52; 1Th 4:13-18).

We teach that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Eph 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1Co 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Eph 3:1-6; 5:32).

We teach that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Ac 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Gal 1:2; Php 1:1; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1) and that the members of the one spiritual body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1Co 11:18-20; Heb 10:25).

We teach that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (Eph 1:22; Col 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders (males, who are also called bishops, pastors, and pastor-teachers; Ac 20:28; Eph 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualification (1Ti 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1Pe 5:1-5).

We teach that these leaders lead or rule as servants of Christ (1Ti 5:17-22) and have His authority in directing the church. The congregation is to submit to their leadership (Heb 13:7, 17).

We teach the importance of discipleship (Mt 28:19, 20; 2Ti 2:2), mutual accountability of all believers to each other (Mt 18:15-17), as well as the need for discipline for sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of Scripture (Mt 18:15-22; Ac 5:1-11; 1Co 5:1-13; 2Th 3:6-15; 1Ti 1:19, 20; Titus 1:10-16).

We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Local churches, however, through their pastors and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judges of the measure and method of their cooperation (Ac 15:19-31; 20:28; 1Co 5:4-7, 13; 1Pe 5:1-4).

We teach that the purpose of the church is to glorify God (Eph 3:21) by building itself up in the faith (Eph 4:13-16), by instruction of the Word (2Ti 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17), by fellowship (Ac 2:47; 1Jn 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Lk 22:19; Ac 2:38-42) and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world (Mt 28:19; Ac 1:8).

We teach the calling of all saints to the work of service (1Co 15:58; Eph 4:12; Rev 22:12).

We teach the need of the church to cooperate with God as He accomplishes His purpose in the world. To that end, He gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:7-12) and He also gives unique and special spiritual abilities to each member of the body of Christ (Ro 12:5-8; 1Co 12:4-31; 1Pe 4:10, 11).

We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily in the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Heb 2:3, 4; 2Co 12:12); and ministering gifts, given to equip believers for edifying one another. With the New Testament revelation now complete, Scripture becomes the sole test of the authenticity of a man’s message, and confirming gifts of a miraculous nature are no longer necessary to validate a man or his message (1Co 13:8-12). Miraculous gifts can even be counterfeited by Satan so as to deceive even believers (Mt 24:24). The only gifts in operation today are those non-revelatory equipping gifts given for edification (Ro 12:6-8).

We teach that no one possesses the gift of healing today but that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith and will answer in accordance with His own perfect will for the sick, suffering, and afflicted (Lk 18:1-8; Jn 5:7-9; 2Co 12:6-10; Jas 5:13-16; 1Jn 5:14, 15).

We teach that two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Ac 2:38-42). Christian baptism by immersion (Ac 8:36-39) is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life (Ro 6:1-11). It is also a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible body of Christ (Ac 2:41, 42).

We teach that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self-examination (1Co 11:23-32). We also teach that whereas the elements of communion are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ, the Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual Communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshiping with His people (1Co 10:16).

Angels

Holy Angels

We teach that angels are created beings and are therefore not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him (Lk 2:9-14; Heb 1:6, 7, 14; 2:6, 7; Rev 5:11-14).

Fallen Angels

We teach that Satan is a created angel and the author of sin. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator (Isa 14:12-17; Eze 28:11-19), by taking numerous angels with him in his fall (Mt 25:41; Rev 12:1-14), and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve (Ge 3:1-15).

We teach that Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man (Isa 14:13, 14; Mt 4:1-11; Rev 12:9, 10), the prince of this world who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ro 16:20) and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Isa 14:12-17; Eze 28:11-19; Mt 25:41; Rev 20:10).

Last Things (Eschatology)

Death

We teach that physical death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev 6:9-11), that there is a separation of soul and body (Jas 2:26), that the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Lk 23:43; 2Co 5:8; Php 1:23), and that, for the redeemed, such separation will continue until the Rapture (1Th 4:13-17) which initiates the first resurrection (Rev 20:4-6), when our soul and body will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (1Co 15:35-44, 50-54; Php 3:21). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2Co 5:8).

We teach the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life (Jn 6:39; Ro 8:10, 11, 19-23; 2Co 4:14), and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Da 12:2; Jn 5:29; Rev 20:13-15).

We teach that the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the final resurrection (Lk 16:19-26; Rev 20:13-15), when the soul and the resurrection body will be united (Jn 5:28, 29). They shall then appear at the Great White Throne judgment (Rev 20:11-15) and shall be cast into hell, the lake of fire (Mt 25:41-46), cut off from the life of God forever (Da 12:2; Mt 25:41-46; 2Th 1:7-9).

The Rapture of the Church

We teach the personal, bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ before the seven-year tribulation (1Th 4:16; Titus 2:13) to translate His church from this earth (Jn 14:1-3; 1Co 15:51-53; 1Th 4:15-5:11) and, between this event and His glorious return with His saints, to reward believers according to their works (1Co 3:11-15; 2Co 5:10).

The Tribulation Period

We teach that immediately following the removal of the church from the earth (Jn 14:1-3; 1Th 4:13-18) the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world (Jer 30:7; Da 9:27; 12:1; 2Th 2:7-12; Rev 16), and that these judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth (Mt 24:27-31; 25:31-46; 2Th 2:7-12). At that time the Old Testament and tribulation saints will be raised and the living will be judged (Da 12:2, 3; Rev 20:4-6). This period includes the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy (Da 9:24-27; Mt 24:15-31; 25:31-46).

The Second Coming and the Millennial Reign

We teach that after the tribulation period, Christ will come to earth to occupy the throne of David (Mt 25:31; Lk 1:32, 33; Ac 1:10, 11; 2:29, 30) and establish His messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth (Rev 20:1-7). During this time the resurrected saints will reign with Him over Israel and all the nations of the earth (Eze 37:21-28; Da 7:17-22; Rev 19:11-16). This reign will be preceded by the overthrow of the Antichrist and the False Prophet, and by the removal of Satan from the world (Da 7:17-27; Rev 20:1-6).

We teach that the kingdom itself will be the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel (Isa 65:17-25; Eze 37:21-28; Zec 8:1-17) to restore them to the land which they forfeited through their disobedience (Dt 28:15-68). The result of their disobedience was that Israel was temporarily set aside (Mt 21:43; Ro 11:1-26) but will again be awakened through repentance to enter into the land of blessing (Jer 31:31-34; Eze 36:22-32; Ro 11:25-29).

We teach that this time of our Lord’s reign will be characterized by harmony, justice, peace, righteousness, and long life (Isa 11; 65:17-25; Eze 36:33-38), and will be brought to an end with the release of Satan (Rev 20:7).

The Judgment of the Lost

We teach that following the release of Satan after the thousand year reign of Christ (Rev 20:7), Satan will deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to battle against the saints and the beloved city, at which time Satan and his army will be devoured by fire from heaven (Rev 20:9). Following this, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:10) whereupon Christ, who is the judge of all men (Jn 5:22), will resurrect and judge the great and small at the Great White Throne judgment.

We teach that this resurrection of the unsaved dead to judgment will be a physical resurrection, whereupon receiving their judgment (Jn 5:28, 29), they will be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Mt 25:41; Rev 20:11-15).

Eternity

We teach that after the closing of the Millennium, the temporary release of Satan, and the judgment of unbelievers (2Th 1:9; Rev 20:7-15), the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God, after which the elements of this earth are to be dissolved (2Pe 3:10) and replaced with a new earth wherein only righteousness dwells (Eph 5:5; Rev 20:15; 21, 22). Following this, the heavenly city will come down out of heaven (Rev 21:2) and will be the dwelling place of the saints, where they will enjoy forever fellowship with God and one another (Jn 17:3; Rev 21, 22). Our Lord Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver up the kingdom to God the Father (1Co 15:23-28) that in all spheres the triune God may reign forever and ever (1Co 15:28).
The MacArthur Study Bible.

Names of Christ

Names of Christ

Before His Exaltation

ABRAHAM’S SEED – Gal. 3:16; Heb. 2:16

ALIVE FOR EVERMORE – Rev. 1:18

ALL IN ALL – Col. 3:11

ALMIGHTY (EL SHADDAI) – Gen. 35:11, Ex. 6:3

ALPHA AND OMEGA – Rev.1:8, 1:11, 21:6, 22:13

AMEN – Rev. 3:14

ANCIENT OF DAYS – Dan. 7:9, 7:13, 7:22

ANGEL OF GOD – Gen. 21:17, Ex. 14:19, Dan. 3:28

ANGEL OF HIS PRESENCE – Isa. 63:9

ANGEL OF THE LORD – Gen.16:7, Ex. 3:2, Isa. 37:36

ANOINTED – Psa. 2:2, Acts 4:27

BEFORE ALL THINGS – Col. 1:17

BEGINNING – Col. 1:18, Rev.1:8, 21:6, 22:13, 3:14

BELOVED – Isa. 5:1, Matt. 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22

BLESSED POTENTATE – 1 Tim. 6:15

BRANCH – Isa. 4:2 , 11:1, Jer. 23:5, 33:15, Zech. 3:8

BREAD – John 6:33, 6:32, 6:41, 6:35, 48

BRIDEGROOM – Matt. 9:15, Mark 2:19, Luke 5:34

BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR – Rev. 22:16

BRIGHTNESS OF HIS GLORY – Heb. 1:3

BUCKLER – 2 Sam. 22:31, Psa. 18:2, Prov. 2:7

CAPTAIN OF THE LORD OF HOSTS – Josh. 5:1

CARPENTER – Mark 6:3

CARPENTER’S SON – Matt. 13:55

CHRIST – Matt. 16:16, Luke 20:41, John 6:69

CHRIST JESUS – Acts 19:4, Rom. 3:24, Gal. 2:4

CHRIST JESUS LORD – 2 Cor. 4:5, Col. 2:6

CHRIST THE LORD – Luke 2:11

CHOSEN – Matt. 12:18, Luke 23:35, 1 Pet. 2:4

CLOTHED WITH MAJESTY – Psa. 93:1; 104:1

COMMANDER – Isa. 55:4

CORNERSTONE – Psa. 118:22, Isa. 28:16, Eph. 2:20

COUNSELOR – Isa. 9:6

CREATOR – Isa.40:28, 43:15, Rom. 1:25, 1 Pet. 4:19

CROWN OF GLORY – Isa. 28:5

DAVID – Jer. 30:9, Ezek. 34:23

DAY STAR – 2 Pet. 1:19

DAYSPRING – Luke 1:78

DEFENCE – Job 22:25, Psa. 59:16, 62:2, 89:18, 94:22

DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS – Hag. 2:7

DELIVERER– Psa. 18:2, 40:17, 70:5, 144:2, Rom. 11:26

DIADEM OF BEAUTY – Isa. 28:5

DOOR – John 10:7

DWELLING PLACE – Psa. 90:1

ELECT – Isa. 42:1, 1 Pet. 2:6

EMMANUEL – Isa. 7:14, 8:8, Matt. 1:23

END – Rev. 21:6, 22:13

ENSIGN – Isa. 11:10, 11:12

EQUAL WITH GOD – John 5:18, Phil. 2:6

ETERNAL GOD – Deut. 33:27

EETERNAL LIFE – 1 John 1:2, 5:20

EVERLASTING FATHER – Isa. 9:6

FAITHFUL– Deut. 7:9, Isa. 49:7, 1 John 1:9, Rev. 19:11

FATHER OF GLORY, THE – Eph. 1:17

FINISHER OF OUR FAITH – Heb. 12:2

FIRST – Rev. 1:11, 1:17, 2:8, 22:13

FIRST AND THE LAST – Isa. 48:12

FIRST BEGOTTEN – Rev. 1:5

FORERUNNER – Heb. 6:20

FORTRESS– 2 Sam. 22:2, Psa. 18:2, 31:3, 71:3, Jer. 16:19

FOUNDATION– Isa. 28:16, 1 Cor. 3:11

FOUNTAIN– Zech. 13:1

FRIEND– Prov. 18:24, Matt. 11:19, Luke 7:34

GIFT OF GOD – 2 Cor. 9:15

GOD– Gen. 22:8, Deut. 6:4, Jn. 1:1, Rom. 5:8, Phil. 2:6

GOOD SHEPHERD – John 10:11, 10:14

GREAT GOD – Neh. 8:6, Psa. 95:3, Tit. 2:13, Rev. 19:17

HEAD OF THE CORNER – Matt. 21:42

HIGH PRIEST – Heb. 2:17, 4:14-15, 6:20, 7:26, 8:1, 9:119

HEIR – Mic. 1:15, Matt. 21:38, Mark 12:7, Luke 20:14

HOLY ONE – Isa. 40:25, Hab. 1:12, Acts 3:14

HOLY ONE OF GOD – Mark 1:24, Luke 4:34

HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL – Isa. 5:24, 12:6, 54:5

HOLY ONE OF JACOB – Isa. 29:23

HOPE OF ISRAEL – Jer. 14:8, 17:13

HORN OF DAVID – Psa. 18:2, 132:17, 18:2, 1 Sam. 2:10,

I AM – Ex. 3:14, John 8:58

IMAGE OF GOD – 2 Cor. 4:4

IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD – Col. 1:15

IMMANUEL – Isa. 7:14, 8:8

ISRAEL Isa. 49:3, Hos. 11:1, Matt. 2:15

JEHOVAH – Ex. 6:3, Psa. 83:18

JESUS – Matt. 4:23, Mark 6:4, Luke 1:31

JESUS CHRIST – John 17:3, Acts 2:38, Rom. 6:23

JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH – Acts 3:6, 4:10

JESUS CHRIST OUR SAVIOR – Tit. 3:6

JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD – Mark 1:1

JESUS THE SON OF GOD – Heb. 4:14

JESUS OF NAZARETH – Matt. 26:71, Acts 2:22

JUDGE OF ISRAEL – Mic. 5:1

JUST MAN – Matt. 27:19

JUST PERSON – Matt. 27:24

JUST ONE – Acts 3:14, 7:52, 22:14

KING – Isa. 43:15, Zech. 9:9, Matt. 21:5, 25:34, Acts17:7

KING OF GLORY – Psa. 24:7, 24:8, 24:9, 24:10

KING OF ISRAEL – Matt. 27:42, Mark 15:32, John 1:49,

KING OF JACOB – Isa. 41:21

KING OF KINGS – I Tim. 6:15, Rev. 17:14, 19:16

KING OF THE JEWS – Matt. 27:37; Luke 23:3

LAMB OF GOD – John 1:29, 1:36

LAST ADAM (SECOND ADAM) – 1 Cor. 15:45

LAWGIVER – Isa. 33:22

LEADER – Isa. 55:4

LIFE– John 11:25, 14:6

LIGHT – John 1:4, 1:7, 1:8, 1:9

LIGHT OF THE WORLD – John 8:12, 9:5

LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDA – Rev. 5:5

LORD AND SAVIOR – II Pet. 1:11, 2:20, 3:2, 3:18

LORD JEHOVAH – Isa. 12:2, 26:4

LORD JESUS – Luke 24:3, Acts 1:21, Rom. 10:9

LORD GOD OF GODS – Josh. 22:22

LORD JESUS CHRIST – Acts 16:31, Phil. 3:20, Jude 21

LORD OF THE HARVEST – Matt. 9:38, Luke 10:2

LORD OF PEACE – II Thess. 3:16

MAN CHRIST JESUS – I Tim. 2:5

MASTER – Matt. 8:19, 12:38, 22:36, Mark 9:38, Eph. 6:9

MEDIATOR – I Tim. 2:5, Heb. 12:24

MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT – Mal. 3:1

MESSIAH – Dan. 9:25, 9:26

MESSIAS – John 1:41, 4:25-26

MIGHTY GOD – Isa. 9:6

MIGHTY ONE OF JACOB – Isa. 49:26

MORNING STAR – Rev. 22:16

MY LORD AND MY GOD – John 20:28

NAZARENE – Matt. 2:23

OFFSPRING OF DAVID – Rev. 22:16

OMEGA – Rev. 22:13

ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER – John 1:14

ONLY BEGOTTEN SON – John 1:18, 3:16, 1 John 4:9

OUR HOPE – 1 Tim. 1:1

OUR LIFE – Col. 3:4

OUR PEACE – Eph. 2:14

PEACE (YHWH SHALOM) – Judg. 6:24

PHYSICIAN – Luke 4:23

PORTION OF JACOB – Jer. 10:16, 51:19

PRINCE AND SAVIOR – Acts 5:31

PRINCE OF PEACE – Isa. 9:6

PRINCE OF PRINCES – Dan. 8:25

PRINCE OF THE KINGS OF THE EARTH– Rev. 1:5

PROPHET – Deut.18:18, Matt. 21:11, Luke 24:19

RABBI – Matt. 23:7, 23:8, John 1:38, 1:49

RABBONI – John 20:16

RANSOM – Matt. 20:28, Mark 10:45, I Tim. 2:6

REDEEMER – Isa. 48:17, 49:7, 49:26, 54:5, 59:20, 63:9

RESURRECTION – John 11:25

RIGHTEOUS BRANCH – Jer. 23:5

RIGHTEOUS JUDGE – II Tim. 4:8

ROCK OF SALVATION – Deut. 32:15, Psa. 89:26, 95:1

ROCK OF ISRAEL – II Sam. 23:3

ROD OUT OF THE STEM – Isa. 11:10

ROOT-Isa 53:2

ROOT AND OFFSPRING OF DAVID – Rev. 22:16

ROOT OF DAVID – Rev. 5:5

ROOT OF JESSE – Isa. 11:10, Rom. 15:12

RULER – Matt. 2:6

SERVANT – Isa. 42:1, Isa. 49:3, Isa. 52:13

SHEPHERD – Ps. 23:1, 80:1, I Pet. 2:25

SHILOH – Gen. 49:10

SON OF ABRAHAM – Matt. 1:1, Luke 19:9

SON OF DAVID – Matt. 1:1, 9:27, 15:22, 20:30, 21:9,

SON OF GOD-Dan. 3:25, Matt. 4:3, Mark 3:11

SON OF JOSEPH – John 1:45, 6:42

SON OF MARY – Mark 6:3

SON OF THE BLESSED – Mark 14:61

SON OF THE HIGHEST – Luke 1:32

SON OF THE LIVING GOD – Matt. 16:16, John 6:69

SON OF THE MOST HIGH GOD Mark 5:7

SPIRIT OF GOD – Rom. 8:9, 8:14, 15:19

STAR – Num. 24:17

TENDER PLANT-Isa 53:2

TRUE VINE – John 15:1

TRUTH – John 14:6

VINE – John 15:5

WAY – John 14:6

WITNESS – Isa. 55:4

WONDERFUL – Isa. 9:6

WORD – Jn 1:1

WORD OF GOD – Rev. 19:13

WORD OF LIFE – 1 John 1:1

 

Suffering of the Messiah

ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF-Isa 53:3

AFFLICTED-Isa 53:4

BRUISED-Isa 53:5

DESPISED-Isa 53:3

FORSAKEN-Psalms 22:1

GRIEF BEARER-Isa 53:4

HEALER-Isa 53:5

LAMB – Rev. 5:6, 5:12, 7:9, 7:14

LAMB OF GOD – John 1:29, 1:36

LIFE – John 11:25, 14:6

MAN OF SORROWS-Isa 53:3

OFFERING-Isa 53:10

POURED OUT ONE-Psalm 22:14

REJECTED-Isa 53:3

RIGHTEOUS SERVANT-Isa 53:11

SILENT ONE-Isa 53:7

SMITTEN-Isa 53:4

SORROW CARRIER-Isa 53:4

STRICKEN-Isa 53:4

TRAVAILED-Isa 53:11

WORM-Psalms 22:6

WOUNDED-Isa 53:5

 

Messiah’s Post Resurrection Exaltation

ADVOCATE – 1 John 2:1

APOSTLE – Heb. 3:1

AUTHOR – Heb. 5:9, 12:2

CAPTAIN OF SALVATION – Heb. 2:10

CHIEF SHEPHERD – 1 Pet. 5:4

END OF THE LAW – Rom. 10:4

FAITHFUL WITNESS – Rev. 1:5, 3:14

FIRSTBORN – Rom. 8:29, Col. 1:15, 1:18

FIRSTFRUIT – Rom. 11:16

GREAT SHEPHERD – Heb. 13:20

HEAD OF THE CHURCH – Eph. 5:23

LAMB – Rev. 5:6, 5:12, 7:9, 7:14

LORD OF GLORY – 1 Cor. 2:8, Jam. 2:1

OUR PASSOVER – I Cor. 5:7

PRINCE OF LIFE – Acts 3:15

SAVIOR – Isa. 43:3, Luke 1:47, John 4:42, Acts 5:31

SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST – II Tim. 1:10, Tit. 2:13

TRUE GOD – I John 5:20

 

Foundations 8: Kingdom Come/Last Things

Foundations 8: Kingdom Come/Last Things

Foundations Lesson 8: Kingdom Come/Last Things

Rapture: The End Begins

What is the Rapture

The Rapture, also referred to as the Blessed Hope is an eschatological event and, in point of fact, is the event that begins the entirety of the End Times. Our official statement is thus: The resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation together with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord is the imminent and blessed hope of the church. (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 Romans 8:23 Titus 2:13 1 Corinthians 15:51,52)

 

This is the event where believers who are “alive and remain shall be caught up together…in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). We would call this the First Resurrection, where each Christian receives his or her resurrected body, after which they will pass before the Bema Seat and then enter into the joy of their Lord. First to receive their new bodies are those who have died as Christians, and then, those who are “alive and remain.”

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (Being asleep, as the Apostle Paul uses here, is a euphemism. He simply means that they have died.)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

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.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

(The Second Resurrection occurs at the Great White Throne where the wicked dead and the remaining wicked who are living are resurrected to eternal fire.)

 

Take notice, I am telling you a secret. We shall not all die but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet call. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

 

Is it certain that there will be a Rapture?

Absolutely. All the prophecies related to the First Advent came to pass and so the prophecies related to the Second will happen as well.

 

When Will It Happen?

We cannot know that and anyone who says that they do know is a liar. We do know that the rapture will be instantaneous, in “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). Scripture nowhere encourages us to try to determine the date of Jesus’ return. Rather, we are to “keep watch, because we do not know on which day our Lord will come” (Matthew 24:42). We are to “be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when we do not expect Him” (Matthew 24:44). In the eschatological Parable of the Talents, we are told by the Lord to “Occupy till I come” but what does that mean? It means that we must be about the work of spreading the message of the Gospel.

 

Exploring the Truth takes the position of a premillennial, pre-tribulational rapture of the church and we have been told that such a position is actually detrimental to the work of the Kingdom; I could not disagree more. If we truly believe that the Rapture of the Church is imminent, it should motivate us greatly. The true work of the Kingdom is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that He is coming soon.

 

The timing of the Rapture has sparked a great debate within Christianity as a whole. Will it occur before, during, or after the tribulation period? Will it occur before the Millennial Kingdom begins, after the Millennial Kingdom ends, or, perhaps, will there be no Millennial Kingdom at all? Since we take the position of a Premillennial, Pretribulational Rapture of the Church, we need to define our terms. The tribulation is a seven-year period that immediately precedes the return of Christ and the establishment of His millennial kingdom, which lasts for 1,000 years. The first 3 ½ years of the tribulation will be a time of peace and cooperation, and the second 3 ½ years of the tribulation will be a time of war and catastrophe. At the midpoint of the tribulation, the Antichrist will proclaim himself god and require worship from all people of the world. Many will bow down and worship the Antichrist, including taking his mark of worldwide registration. Some will refuse to worship the Antichrist and receive his mark, and many will be killed for this act of disobedience. The second half of the tribulation is referred to as the “Great Tribulation.” There will be extraordinary catastrophes all over the world during this period. (For scriptural support, see Revelation 3:10, Matthew 24; Mark 13 and Luke 17).

 

Why do we take this position? In answering this question, it is important that we understand the culture of the day as well as the metaphor in play. In Revelation 19, we see the Marriage Supper of the Lamb referred to. This is noteworthy because it is the metaphor that we are to follow.

 

I had the privilege to sit under a Messianic Jewish Rabbi and he explained this as following the Paleo-Hebraic wedding. Let us look at that metaphor in regard to the Rapture and the rest of the End Times.

 

First, there is the Mohar (the Bride Price or Dowry). In the case of the Church, who is the Bride of Christ, the price was His own precious blood. Next, there is erusin, the betrothal. At the betrothal the woman was legally married, although she still remained in her father’s house. She could not belong to another man unless she was divorced from her betrothed. The wedding meant only that the betrothed woman, accompanied by a colorful procession, was brought from her father’s house to the house of her groom, and the legal tie with him was consummated. This is a beautiful picture of Sovereign Election; we are betrothed to Christ in the moment of our election and we can, legally, belong to no other.

 

The bride and groom would dwell in a place prepared for them by the groom:

John 14:2-3 (NASB)

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

 

Only the father could determine when the dwelling place was ready. Matthew 24:36 (KJV)

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  This would begin a period of separation.

 

At the end of the period of separation the groom would come to take his bride to live with him. The taking of the bride usually took place at night. The groom, best man and other male escorts would leave the groom’s father’s house and conduct a torch light procession to the home of the bride. Although the bride was expecting her groom to come for her, she did not know the exact time of his coming. As a result the groom’s arrival would be preceded by a shout. This shout would forewarn the bride to be prepared for the coming of the groom. (The shout of the Archangel in 1 Thessalonians)

 

After the groom received his bride together with her female attendants, the enlarged wedding party would return from the bride’s home to the groom’s father’s house. Upon arrival there the wedding party would find that the wedding guests had assembled already.

 

Shortly after arrival the bride and groom would be escorted by the other members of the wedding party to the bridal chamber (Chuppah). Prior to entering the chamber the bride remained veiled so that no one could see her face. While the groomsmen and bridesmaids would wait outside, the bride and groom would enter the bridal chamber alone. There in the privacy of that place they would enter into physical union for the first time, thereby consummating the marriage that had been covenanted earlier. After the marriage was consummated, the groom would announce the consummation to the other members of the wedding party waiting outside the chamber (John 3:29). These people would pass on the news of the marital union to the wedding guests. Upon receiving this good news the wedding guests would feast and make merry for the next seven days. During the seven days of the wedding festivities, which were sometimes called “the seven days of the Chuppah,” the bride remained hidden in the bridal chamber. At the conclusion of these seven days the groom would bring his bride out of the bridal chamber, now with her veil removed, so that all could see who his bride was.

 

In the same manner as the Jewish bridegroom came to the bride’s home for the purpose of obtaining her through the establishment of a marriage covenant, so Jesus came to earth for the purpose of obtaining the Church through the establishment of a covenant. On the same night in which Jesus made His promise in John 14, He instituted communion (This is the Covenant sign of our betrothal to Him). As He passed the cup of wine to His disciples, He said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Cor. 11:25). This was His way of saying that He would establish a new covenant through the shedding of His blood on the cross. Parallel to the custom of the Jewish groom paying a price to purchase his bride, Jesus paid a price to purchase His bride, the Church. The price that He paid was His own life blood. It was because of this purchase price that Paul wrote the following to members of the Church: “know ye not that…ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

 

Analogous with the Jewish bride being declared to be sanctified or set apart exclusively for her groom once the marriage covenant was established, the Church has been declared to be sanctified or set apart exclusively for Christ (Eph. 5:25-27; 1Cor. 1:2; 6:11; Heb. 10:10; 13:12).

 

In the same way that a cup of wine served as a symbol of the marriage covenant through which the Jewish groom obtained his bride, so the cup of communion serves as the symbol of the covenant through which Christ has obtained the Church (1 Cor. 11:25).

 

Just as the Jewish groom left the home of his bride and returned to his father’s house after the marriage covenant had been established, so Jesus left the earth, the home of the Church, and returned to His Father’s house in heaven after He had established the new covenant and risen from the dead (John 6:62; 20:17).

Corresponding with the period of separation between the Jewish groom and bride, Christ has remained separate from the Church for over 1900 years. The Church is now living in that period of separation.

 

Parallel to the custom of the Jewish groom preparing living accommodations for his bride in his father’s house during the time of separation, Christ has been preparing living accommodations for the Church in His Father’s house in heaven during His separation from His Bride (John 14:2).

 

In the same manner as the Jewish groom came to take his bride to live with him at the end of the period of separation, so Christ will come to take His Church to live with Him at the end of His period of separation from the Church (John 14:3).

Just as the taking of the Jewish bride was accomplished by a procession of the groom and male escorts from the groom’s father’s house to the home of the bride, so the taking of the Church will be accomplished by a procession of Christ and an angelic escort from Christ’s Father’s house in heaven to the home of the Church (1 Thess. 4:16).

 

Just as the Jewish bride was not knowing the exact time of the groom’s coming for her, the Church does not know the exact time of Christ’s coming for her.

In the same way that the Jewish groom’s arrival was preceded by a shout, so Christ’s arrival to take the Church will be preceded by a shout (1 Thess. 4:16).

Similar to the Jewish bride’s return with the groom to his father’s house after her departure from her home, the Church will return with Christ to His Father’s house in heaven after she is snatched from the earth to meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:17; John 14:2-3). What will happen here taught using the Greek word harpazo, which means to catch away. In the connotation of harpazo, it is very similar to being caught by the collar and being drug away. It is then that we will experience the other word related to the Rapture, Paralambano, which is a taking to oneself. The Angelic Host will catch us out of this world (harpazo in Greek, rapturus in Latin and that is where the word rapture comes from) and will deliver us unto Jesus who, being the perfect groom will take us unto himself.

 

 

In the same manner as the Jewish wedding party found wedding guests assembled in the groom’s father’s house when they arrived, so Christ and the Church will find the souls of Old Testament saints assembled in heaven when they arrive. These souls will serve as the wedding guests. What a glorious event that will be!! The saints of old gathered together to witness the joining of the Prince of Heaven to His bride, can you even imagine and she is presented to Him in a robe of fine linen, white and pure and, in final glorification, the Bride reflects the radiant majesty of Jesus Christ?!

 

Parallel to the custom of the Jewish groom and bride entering into physical union after their arrival at the groom’s father’s house, thereby consummating the marriage that had been covenanted earlier, Christ and the Church will experience spiritual union after their arrival at His Father’s house in heaven, thereby consummating their relationship that had been covenanted earlier.

 

Corresponding with the Jewish bride remaining hidden in the bridal chamber for a period of seven days after arrival at the groom’s father’s house, the Church will remain hidden for a period of seven after arrival at Christ’s Father’s house in heaven. While the seven year Tribulation Period is taking place on the earth, the Church will be in heaven totally hidden from the sight of those living on the earth.

Just as the Jewish groom brought his bride out of the bridal chamber at the conclusion of the seven days with her veil removed, so that all could see who his bride was, so Christ will bring His Church out of heaven in His Second Coming at the conclusion of the seven year Tribulation Period in full view of all who are alive, so that all can see who the true church is (Col. 3:4).

 

Beloved, can you see the majesty of this event? The ultimate groom is coming for His bride. The Crown Prince of Heaven, adorned in majesty, wearing glory for His garments is coming to take His bride home. We, the Church are that Bride and we are about to enter into the “7 days of the Chuppa” but for those left behind, they will be a time of terrible tribulation, on year for each day of the Marriage Supper…

 

There is a tremendous amount of information that yet needs to be unpacked. We will develop these concepts more as we go through the lessons on the Tribulation, The Millennium, and the End of Days.

 

In reality, the main debate on the Rapture is not what it’s nature is, but when it will occur in relation to the tribulation. To summarize, the pre-tribulation view is that the rapture will happen before the tribulation period, and this is the position that we take; the mid-tribulation view is that the rapture will occur half-way through the tribulation period; and the post-tribulation view is that the rapture will occur at the end of the tribulation period.

 

To repeat: Exploring the Truth, officially, takes the position of a Pre-Millennial, Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

 

Does the Timing Matter for Believers in Jesus Christ?

The pre-tribulation rapture is a wonderful hope for believers in Jesus Christ, which is why the Apostle tells us to comfort one another with those words.

 

That being said, when the Rapture actually happens is, to a point, ancillary. The key to our position in Christ, and to securing our home-going, is that we are justified by faith in Christ because of grace.

 

Tribulation: The Wrath to Come

 

The Biblical Basis for The Tribulation

Does the Bible teach that there will be a Great Tribulation (also called the Time of Jacob’s trouble? Does it teach that there will be an actual person who we know as the Antichrist? In short, Yes.

 

What are the Tribulation and Great Tribulation (gotquestions.org)

The Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan: 1) He will complete His discipline of the nation Israel (Daniel 9:24), and 2) He will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation 6 – 18). The length of the Tribulation is seven years. This is determined by an understanding of the seventy weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27; also see the article on the Tribulation). The Great Tribulation is the last half of the Tribulation period, three and one-half years in length. It is distinguished from the Tribulation period because the Beast, or Antichrist, will be revealed, and the wrath of God will greatly intensify during this time. Thus, it is important at this point to emphasize that the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not synonymous terms. Within eschatology (the study of future things), the Tribulation refers to the full seven-year period while the “Great Tribulation” refers to the second half of the Tribulation.

 

It is Christ Himself who used the phrase “Great Tribulation” with reference to the last half of the Tribulation. In Matthew 24:21, Jesus says, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall.” In this verse Jesus is referring to the event of Matthew 24:15, which describes the revealing of the abomination of desolation, the man also known as the Antichrist. Also, Jesus in Matthew 24:29-30 states, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days . . . the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” In this passage, Jesus defines the Great Tribulation (v.21) as beginning with the revealing of the abomination of desolation (v.15) and ending with Christ’s second coming (v.30).

 

Other passages that refer to the Great Tribulation are Daniel 12:1b, which says, “And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time.” It seems that Jesus was quoting this verse when He spoke the words recorded in Matthew 24:21. Also referring to the Great Tribulation is Jeremiah 30:7, “Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.” The phrase “Jacob’s distress” refers to the nation of Israel, which will experience persecution and natural disasters such as have never before been seen.

 

Considering the information Christ gave us in Matthew 24:15-30, it is easy to conclude that the beginning of the Great Tribulation has much to do with the abomination of desolation, an action of the Antichrist. In Daniel 9:26-27, we find that this man will make a “covenant” (a peace pact) with the world for seven years (one “week”; again, see the article on the Tribulation). Halfway through the seven-year period—”in the middle of the week”—we are told this man will break the covenant he made, stopping sacrifice and grain offering, which specifically refers to his actions in the rebuilt temple of the future. Revelation 13:1-10 gives even more detail concerning the Beast’s actions, and just as important, it also verifies the length of time he will be in power. Revelation 13:5 says he will be in power for 42 months, which is three and one-half years, the length of the Great Tribulation.

 

Revelation offers us the most information about the Great Tribulation. From Revelation 13 when the Beast is revealed until Christ returns in Revelation 19, we are given a picture of God’s wrath on the earth because of unbelief and rebellion (Revelation 16-18). It is also a picture of how God disciplines and at the same time protects His people Israel (Revelation 14:1-5) until He keeps His promise to Israel by establishing an earthly kingdom (Revelation 20:4-6).

 

The first mention of the Tribulation in the Bible is found in Deuteronomy 4:27-30. Before the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses warned them that if they were unfaithful to God, they would be scattered among the nations. He then prophesied that “in the latter days” they would come under “distress,” and the result would be their “return to the Lord.”

 

Centuries later, Jeremiah used the same terminology when he referred to the Tribulation. He called it “the time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Similarly, Daniel called it “the time of trouble,” and he prophesied it would be the worst period of trouble in the history of the Jewish people (Daniel 12:1). Malachi stated it would be a time of refining for the Jews, as when silver is purified by fire (Malachi 3:1-4). And Zechariah used the same imagery when he prophesied that two-thirds of the Jewish people will perish during this time. Of the remnant remaining, he wrote, “I [the Lord] will bring the third part through the fire [and] refine them as silver is refined…” (Zechariah 13:8-9). Incidentally, it is this remnant that prompts us to teach that all of Israel will be saved.

 

All Israel Will Be Saved During the Tribulation

That all Israel will be saved is a logical possibility that we can readily draw from the text.

 

In two of the sets of judgments, we see the unmitigated death and destruction that the Holy God allows to be unleashed on a Christ Rejecting world. What we do not see, in Revelation, is how many of those who are killed are part of Israel and as a consequence we do not know how many Israelites are left alive to be saved. We can, then, infer that the salvation of Israel is logically possible. As to probability, bear with me…

 

SEALS

Rev.6:3-2nd Seal: Wars on earth

Rev.6:7-4th Seal: Death released. 1/4 of the worlds population to die by plagues, disease, and beasts of the earth

Rev.6:9-5th Seal: Persecution and mass killing of God’s people worldwide

Rev.6:12-6th Seal: Massive earthquake wrath of God.

 

TRUMPETS

Rev.9:13-6th Trumpet: demons released and 200 million army kills 1/3 of the world’s population.

 

Some points from the Revelation Teaching Series by another of my mentors

“shall be saved” …salvation by faith in Jesus Christ vs works

  • Genesis 15:6
  • Habakkuk 2:4
  • Romans 4:9 – 5:1
  • Romans 9:24-26
  • Galatians 3:16-29

 

“all Israel”

  • Romans 2:25-29
  • Romans 9:6b
  • Romans 9:27
  • Ezekiel 20:5, 8, 13, 16-17, 33-44
    1. When will God rule over Israel…when will God be Israel’s King?
    2. When will Israel pollute His name no more?
    3. When will Israel be sanctified before the Gentile nations?
    4. When will Israel know that Jesus Christ is Lord?
    5. When will Israel loathe themselves and their tawdry history?
    6. When will the Lord purge Israel of the rebels/unbelievers?
    7. During the 70th Week of Daniel (Dan 9:24)

 

  • Ezekiel 36:16-31
  • Zechariah 13:8-9
  • Romans 11:25-29

 

“all Israel” are those who believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, their King and Savior

 

 

Dr. MacArthur points out that “all Israel” means all of those members of the nation of Israel that survive the Time of Jacob’s Trouble/Great Tribulation.

Romans 11:17- only some branches are broken off, so a believing remnant are being preserved unto/until salvation.

 

Additional from Dr. MacArthur

Before all Israel is saved, its unbelieving, ungodly members will be separated out by God’s inerrant hand of judgment. Ezekiel makes that truth vividly clear:

 

“As I live,” declares the Lord God, “surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; and I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” declares the Lord God. “And I shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant; and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezek. 20:33–38, emphasis added; cf. Dan. 12:10; Zech. 13:8–9)

 

Those who hear the preaching of the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1–8; 14:1–5), of other converts (7:9), of the two witnesses (11:3–13), and of the angel (14:6), and thus safely pass under God’s rod of judgment will then comprise all Israel, which—in fulfillment of God’s sovereign and irrevocable promise—will be completely a nation of believers who are ready for the kingdom of the Messiah Jesus.

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jer. 31:31–34; cf. 32:38)

 

God’s control of history is irrefutable evidence of His sovereignty. And as surely as He cut off unbelieving Israel from His tree of salvation, just as surely will He graft believing Israel back in—a nation completely restored and completely saved.

 

Most importantly, the reason why, at some point, the entirety of Israel looks upon Him whom they pierced, mourns, and turns to Christ is the fact that God does not change

 

Malachi 3:6

I, the Lord, do not change

 

Hosea 2:14-20

14“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness,

and speak tenderly to her. 15And there I will give her her vineyards

and make the Valley of Achore a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

16“And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

 

1 Samuel 15:29

29 “And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind”

 

Psalm 102:12 & 25-28

12 But Thou, O LORD dost abide forever; And Thy name to all generations. . . 25 Of old Thou didst found the earth; And the heavens are the work of Thy hands. 26 Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed. 27 But Thou art the same, And Thy years will not come to an end. 28 The children of Thy servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before Thee”

 

 

The Scope of Tribulation

The House of Israel will not be the only ones to suffer during this period of unparalleled trouble. The Bible makes it clear that all the nations of the world will experience catastrophic calamities.

 

Isaiah calls it “a day of reckoning” for all the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:10-17). Zephaniah says “all the earth will be devoured in the fire of God’s jealousy” (Zephaniah 1:18). The Psalmist Asaph put it this way: “A cup is in the hand of the Lord, and the wine foams… surely, all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs” (Psalm 75:8).

 

How long will this be?

The prophet Daniel defined the length of the Tribulation. He said God would accomplish all His purposes for the Jewish people during a period of 70 weeks of years (490 years). Sixty-nine of those weeks of years (483 years) would lead up to the death of the Messiah. The final week of years would occur at the end of the age, right before the return of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27). This concluding week of years (7 years) corresponds to the Tribulation for, as Daniel put it, it will mark the time when “the prince who is to come” will “make desolate” — a reference to the Antichrist.

 

The timing established by Daniel is confirmed in the book of Revelation where the Tribulation is divided into two periods of 3 1/2 years each (Revelation 11:3,7 and 13:5). The dividing point between the two halves of the Tribulation will occur when the Antichrist reveals himself by entering the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, stopping the sacrifices, and declaring himself to be god (Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; and Revelation 13:5-6).

 

When does this happen?

When will this terrible period begin? The Bible says in general terms that it will start after the Jews have been re-gathered and have been re-established in their homeland and in their sacred city of Jerusalem.

 

Specifically, the Bible says it will begin at a time when all the world comes together against Israel over the issue of who will control the city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3). Of course, this means that, currently, we are on the very threshold of the Tribulation today as we witness the United Nations, the European Union, the Vatican, and the Arab nations demanding that the Jews surrender their sovereignty over Jerusalem. Ultimately, this will not happen as God Himself will rise up to defend Israel, His beloved.

 

The specific event that will mark the seven year count down of the Tribulation will be the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and her Arab enemies — a treaty that will allow the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27).

 

The Nature

The unparalleled horror of the Tribulation is spelled out in detail in both Tanakh and the New Testament. Isaiah wrote that it will be a day of “terror of the Lord” when “the pride of men will be abased” (Isaiah 2:10,17,19). Zephaniah proclaimed that it will be a “day of wrath,” “a day of trouble and distress,” and “a day of destruction and desolation” (Zephaniah 1:15). Men will stumble around like they are blind and “their blood will be poured out like dust” (Zephaniah 1:17).

 

This dismal picture is echoed in the New Testament. Jesus said it will be a time of tribulation “such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall” (Matthew 24:21). In fact, Jesus said it will be so terrible that if it were not stopped at the end of seven years, it would result in the destruction of all life (Matthew 24:22). The Apostle John states that the chaos will be so great that the leaders of the world will crawl into caves and cry out for the rocks of the mountains to fall upon them (Revelation 6:15-16).

 

 

Foundations 7: Believers Baptism and Holy Communion

Foundations 7: Believers Baptism and Holy Communion

Believer’s Baptism

Official Statement on Baptism

Following the model displayed in the New Testament, Exploring the Truth takes the position that baptism is limited exclusively to the repentant believer who, having placed his faith and obedience, in Christ, and now wishes to publicly profess faith before the Household of the Faithful and to identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord through full, bodily immersion in water (except when medically not possible). We do not teach that baptism saves; rather we teach that this is the first step of obedience to the commands of our Lord and His Apostles.

 As a consequence of this, it is the position of Exploring the Truth that Paedobaptism is not valid as fulfillment of the Apostolic Mandate to “repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38)”

Defending Our Position

An excerpt from Baptist Distinctives…

Ask most non-Baptists (and even some Baptists!) what is the Baptist distinctive and they likely will say, “Baptism of adults by immersion.” Of course, there is no one Baptist distinctive. Why then do many people regard baptism as practiced by Baptists to be our distinctive? A possible reason is that Baptists are one of the very few denominations that practice believer’s baptism by immersion and do so as a symbol of having been saved, not as a requirement for salvation. 

In previous centuries, rulers of both state and church launched persecutions against Baptists for this practice. In the face of such harsh resistance, as well as the inconvenience of immersion, why have Baptists stubbornly held to the belief in and practice of believer’s immersion? The answer is found in basic Baptist convictions. 

Baptism Is Only for Believers

The New Testament records that baptism always followed conversion, never preceded it, and were not necessary for salvation (Acts 2:1-41; 8:36-39; 16:30-33). Since Baptists look to the Bible as our sole authority for faith and practice, we believe that baptism is only for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

Furthermore, Baptists point out that in the New Testament a commitment to believe in and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior was always voluntary. Therefore, baptism as a sign of such commitment ought always to be voluntary. 

Because of these convictions based on the Bible, Baptists do not baptize infants. This refusal has resulted in persecution. For example, Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard University, was forced not only from his office but banished from Cambridge for refusing to have his infant children baptized in the state-supported church.

Baptism Is Only by Immersion

Although some early Baptists baptized by pouring or sprinkling water over a person, Baptists concluded that immersion of a person’s entire body in water was the only biblical way to baptize. Therefore, in spite of persecution, inconvenience and ridicule, they began to practice baptism only by immersion. Today, that is the Baptist way throughout most of the world.

The belief in immersion as the proper mode of baptism is based on the Bible for several reasons:

  • The English word “baptize” comes from a word in the Greek language—the language in which the New Testament originally was written—that means “to dip, submerge, or immerse.”
  • John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River by immersion as Jesus began his public ministry (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11).
  • Christ’s disciples in New Testament times baptized by immersion (Acts 8:36-39).
  • Immersion is a means not only of declaring that Christ died, was buried and was resurrected to provide salvation but also of testifying about our own hope of resurrection (Romans 6:5).
  • The New Testament teaches that immersion is a way to symbolize that a believer has died to an old way and is alive to walk a new way in Christ (Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12).

Baptism Is Symbolic

Baptists believe that the Bible teaches that baptism is important but not necessary for salvation. For example, the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), Saul on the Damascus road (Acts 9:1-18) and the people gathered in Cornelius’ house (Acts 10:24-48) all experienced salvation without the necessity of baptism. In his sermon at Pentecost, Peter urged those who had repented and believed in Christ to be baptized, not that baptism was necessary for salvation but as a testimony that they had been saved (Acts 2:1-41).

Thus, baptism is symbolic and not sacramental. Baptists believe that the Bible teaches that baptism symbolizes that a person has been saved and is not a means of salvation. Baptism is not a means of channeling saving grace but rather is a way of testifying that saving grace has been experienced. It does not wash away sin but symbolizes the forgiveness of sin through faith in Christ. 

While baptism is not essential for salvation, it is a very important requirement for obedience to the Lord. Christ commanded his disciples to baptize (Matthew 28:19) and therefore baptism is a form of obedience to Jesus as Lord. Baptism is one way that a person declares, “Jesus is Lord.”

What is Believer’s Baptism?

What is believer’s baptism? Does it have a purpose, since salvation is “by grace through faith” (Ephesians 2:8,9)?

Water baptism is obviously a picture of something, which has already taken place in the heart of the believer the moment he/she was justified (1 Pet. 3:21). Water baptism is the ordinance by which the repentant believer identifies with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

You are “crucified” (standing upright in water), you are “buried” (immersed into the water), and you are “resurrected into life” (raised out of the water). Water baptism then, is a picture of spiritual baptism as defined in Romans 6:3-5 and 1 Corinthians 12:13. It is the outward testimony of the believer’s inward faith. A sinner is saved the moment he places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and yields to His Lordship in obedience. Baptism is the first visible testimony to that believer being set apart from his sin and set apart to Christ and His glory.

There is a scriptural basis for Believer’s Baptism. It pictures or proclaims four important things:

  • Believer’s Baptism provides the picture of the believer’s death, burial, and resurrection with Christ. “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him, through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.” Colossians 2:12
  • Believer’s Baptism it the picture the death of our old life to sin, and our resurrection to walk in newness of life. “As Christ was raised up from the dead, by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4
  • Believer’s Baptism proclaims our faith in the Trinity of the Godhead. “Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 28:19
  • Believer’s Baptism pictures our “putting on” of Christ. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:26,27

So then, Believer’s Baptism is a picture of what transpired when you placed your faith and trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ to save you from your sins (Romans 6:3-5). It does not atone for sin, as it cannot; only the blood of Christ cleanses us from sin (I John 1:7; Colossians 1:14).

Who may be baptized?

Now, let’s look at who may be baptized. The Bible makes it clear that scriptural baptism is Believer’s Baptism.

  • In Acts 2:41 we observe that they received the word, AND THEN they were baptized.
  • In Acts 8:12,36,37 we find that they believed, AND THEN they were baptized.
  • In Acts 10:43,44,47, it is plain to see that those who believed received the Holy Ghost, and THEN they were baptized. (Lost people do not receive the Holy Ghost).

When the Philippian jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved….” (Acts 16:30-34). Paul did not tell him to be baptized to be saved. His baptism came AFTER his believing, which, again, portrays the scriptural standard.

Who then may/should be baptized? According to the established Bible pattern, only those who have repented and yielded to the Lordship of Christ. Water baptism is NOT salvation, but obedience to a command by God concerning discipleship.

When and where should baptism be done?

When is the believer to be baptized? The Bible teaches that water baptism follows shortly after spiritual baptism (the new birth). Notice the example of Paul (Acts 9:18), Cornelius (Acts 10:43-48), and the Philippian Jailer (Acts 16:33).

You were placed into the body of Christ by spiritual baptism at the moment you were saved (Galatians 3:26-27). Now you follow the miracle of spiritual baptism with physical immersion into water, according to Acts 8:38; 10:47; 16:33. As to where a believer is to be baptized, the obvious answer is in the presence of other believers, the local church. The Lord Jesus Christ gave the local church the ordinance of water baptism (Matthew 28:18-20). An ordinance is a ceremony appointed by Christ to be administered in the local church as a visible type of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary.

How is baptism practiced

HOW is a believer to be baptized? Immersion in water is the only scriptural method of baptism.

  • In Matthew 3:13-16 and in Mark 1:9-10 we find that John the Baptist needed “much water” for baptism.
  • In Acts 8:38-39 we are taught baptism by immersion.
  • In Romans 6:3-6 we see that baptism must fulfill three pictures: death, burial and resurrection. It is also referred to as being “planted”, and being raised. It is not difficult to see that the only mode of baptism, which fulfills all these pictures, is the immersion of the believer in water. Furthermore, scriptural expressions such as “much water” (John 3:23), and “down both into the water” (Acts 8:38) are very conclusive evidence that water baptism is by immersion.

Why be baptized?

Obedience; Spiritual baptism is the Christian’s identification with Christ (Colossians 2:12). This is why we should submit to water baptism.

Romans 6:3-5 teaches us that it is literally a picture of your death, burial and resurrection with Christ. It is your first act of obedience to God after salvation. WHY be baptized? Consider the following:

  • Believer’s Baptism pleases the Lord. When Jesus was baptized, God the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). When n we follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ we certainly please the Father.
  • Scriptural baptism is a testimony to the world. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32). Our baptism is a public testimony o f our faith in the Lord Jesus: Christ, and the way in which we identify ourselves with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

We understand and believe that baptism is not a “sacrament” that imparts saving grace, but an ordinance. We are not saved by baptism, but by faith in Jesus Christ and His blood…”cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Baptism is the outward symbol of what has already transpired in the heart of the one who has trusted the Lord Jesus Christ for full salvation.

2nd Ordinance: the Lord’s Table (Holy Communion)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements –bread and the fruit of the vine– is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of his suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26, and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26, and is enjoined on all believers “till He come!”

Let us focus on the teaching of the London Baptist Confession for a few moments:

  1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other. ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-261 Corinthians 10:161721)

There is no set mandate upon the Church as to how often we come to the Lord’s Table that is found in Scripture and neither do we enjoin the church to a particular timetable. It is to the Elders to decide if weekly, monthly, etc. All believers are entitled to partake upon their conversion and, having professed faith, are encouraged to receive Holy Communion from the Elders in full view and fellowship with the Household of the Faithful during corporate worship.

  1. In this ordinance Christ is not offered up to his Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin of the quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of himself by himself upon the cross, once for all; and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same. So that the popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ’s own sacrifice the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect. ( Hebrews 9:2526281 Corinthians 11:24Matthew 26:2627)
  2. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the cup, and, they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants. ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, etc. )
  3. The denial of the cup to the people, worshipping the elements, the lifting them up, or carrying them about for adoration, and reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this ordinance, and to the institution of Christ. ( Matthew 26:26-28Matthew 15:9Exodus 20:45)

 

  1. The outward elements in this ordinance, duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to him crucified, as that truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ, albeit, in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they were before. ( 1 Corinthians 11:271 Corinthians 11:26-28)
  2. That doctrine which maintains a change of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ’s body and blood, commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is repugnant not to Scripture alone, but even to common sense and reason, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath been, and is, the cause of manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries. ( Acts 3:21Luke 24:6391 Corinthians 11:2425)
  3. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses. ( 1 Corinthians 10:161 Corinthians 11:23-26)
  4. All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of the Lord’s table, and cannot, without great sin against him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto; yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves. ( 2 Corinthians 6:14151 Corinthians 11:29Matthew 7:6)

How should Holy Communion be administered and by whom?

Before we go any further, it is needful to remind that Holy Communion is a closed ceremony, meaning it should only be offered during the Corporate Worship and to a believer that has submitted to Believers Baptism. Many of my Southern Baptist Brethren will disagree with this. However, the command to be baptized is scriptural and disobedience to this command necessarily disqualifies from the observance of Communion.

It is appointed to ministers to bless the elements and to distribute among the faithful. Both offices, the Elders and the Deacons should be present in the service. Otherwise there is no set formula apart from scripture. The bread is to be blessed, broken, and eaten. Following this, the cup is to be blessed and drank.