God in a Baby?

dec13,Christ child display in front of city hall, 1983What a mystery it is to many people that God was incarnated into a human zygote. Non Christians mock that truth, as do various cults. Even Islam claims that Jesus was just the “son of Mary.”

But the Apostle Paul shows that the Christ truly came from God because he was a member of the Trinity. Philippians 2:5-7 (KJV) reads, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

And as I pointed out previously, Jesus was part of the lineage of King David. Hebrews 2:16 reads, “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”

Furthermore, Christ came to save all who would believe in him. In Matthew 1:21 (KJV) Gabriel told Joseph what name to call his son and why he would be born. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

dec13a,church history timelineRomans 8:3 (KJV) also shows why just keeping the commandments wasn’t enough to save us. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

We also have testimony from Jesus himself that he came to save those who would follow him. John 3:18 (KJV) quotes him as saying, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

I should explain for those who might not know this that the term “Son of God” doesn’t mean that Mary had sexual relations with anybody. Islam denies the virgin birth because Muhammad and his followers couldn’t accept that Christ was born without a human father. We don’t know how but the Lord created in Mary’s womb the zygote which became Jesus.

dec10b,crown 2Because people lack understanding of biblical terminology, they invent errant doctrines. I hope to deal with those in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? So many mistaken ideas would never be taught if people would take time to study the reasons for titles like Son of God and heavenly Father.

On Saturday, I’ll post about a song popular in 1973 and how it reminded me of a certain daughter of a widow in the Bible.

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The Prophecies of the Prince

dec10,Moses at the burning bushNew believers in Christ might not know this but the life of Jesus was predicted long before he was born. Even the location and circumstances of his birth were predicted centuries before Mary and Joseph became betrothed to each other.

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) is perhaps the most descriptive of these prophecies. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

This verse also shows Christ’s deity as “mighty God.” The next time Jehovah’s Witnesses confront you, direct them to this verse which shows that Jesus IS God.

dec10a,Moses talks with GodIsaiah also foretold how Christ would be born of a virgin, something biologically impossible by human means at that time. Isaiah 7:14 (KJV) reads, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

And here’s another verse to show Jehovah’s Witnesses. Matthew 1:23 (KJV) states plainly that Jesus was, is, and always will be divine. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

We also find Christ and his birth place mentioned in Micah 5:2 (KJV). “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

But not everybody realized who Christ was. His coming from Nazareth confused some Judeans. As John 7:42 (KJV) quoted them as saying, “Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”

dec10b,crown 2The fact that so many ancient prophecies were fulfilled with such exactness proves the Bible’s accuracy. This is one point I’ll stress in my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Many nominal Christians and cults claim the Bible was tampered with but these prophecies and the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that it came down to us intact.

On Thursday, I’ll post about the wonder of God becoming a human. Many religions and sects don’t except this but it’s true.

Saturday Song: Elton John, “Empty Garden”

December 8, 1980 was an ordinary evening for me. I had no idea that while I was at the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship dinner in Edmonton, John Lennon fought for his life in New York City. Not only was I oblivious about his death but I didn’t know it happened until I bought a news paper the next morning.

Elton John summed up all of our feelings the next year with his song called “Empty Garden.” That line about one insect destroying so much grain described the situation well.

Listen to this tribute to John Lennon here.

According to many people these days, it’s the availability of guns that’s the problem. They claim that if there were no guns, nobody would die. But we see that in lands where guns are tightly restricted, criminals steal or smuggle them in.

The real culprit is the human heart. Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) puts the situation bluntly. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

dec08,gardening gloves 7Only God knows the depths of human depravity. As Jeremiah 17:10 (KJV) explains, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

We can’t blame our environment or upbringing either. Look at what Scripture says in Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV). “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Neither will banning guns help. Wicked people will just find other weapons to commit murder with. The real problem is spiritual, not material. Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) declares, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

So, what are your memories of that tragic evening when John was murdered by a mentally disturbed man? Let me know.

By the way, Monday’s post will be about the prophecies of Christ’s birth. This is one of many proofs of the Bible’s veracity.

Through Isaac, the Seed Was Promised

dec06b,Family of Abraham chartAs I’ve written before, Arabic Muslims believe they’re the special people because they descended from Ishmael. While Abraham did father two boys, only Isaac was the one who was the child of promise.

We see God’s declaration of this in Genesis 21:12 (KJV), as it is written, “And God said unto Abraham, ‘Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.'”

But the word “seed” is singular, not plural. Look at what Paul wrote in Galatians 3:16 (KJV). “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many; but as of one, ‘And to thy seed,’ which is Christ.”

We see our position as heirs of the promised Messiah declared in Galatians 4:28 (KJV). Paul wrote, “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”

But does this apply to us today? Paul also obliquely referred to all the faithful in Christ. Romans 9:7 (KJV) reads, “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

And because of Christ, we too are heirs by faith. As Paul wrote in Galatians 6:16 (KJV), “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.”

dec06,Abraham about to sacrifice IsaacThough Abraham had a sun through his slave Hagar, it was God who caused the miraculous birth of Isaac. Hebrews 11:11 (KJV) explains, “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.”

Trusting completely in the salvation provided by God is the main theme of my upcoming book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? Only by faith, meaning total trust, will anybody be saved. I keep having to make this point because it’s counterintuitive to human nature.

By the way, Saturday’s song will be about gun control and why it doesn’t work.

The Messiah Saga Begins

dec03,Eve and the serpantI’m sure we’ve all heard the Christmas story so many times that it becomes stale. In fact, I’ve found that familiarity with our Lord’s birth has bred contempt among many of my friends. What most Christians don’t appear to know is that the beginning of Christ’s story starts at the beginning of the Bible.

When Adam and Eve defied God’s only restriction on them, he cursed both them and Satan but he also gave a promise of a deliverer. Genesis 3:14 and 15 (KJV) reads, “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.'”

dec03a, Adam eating forbidden fruitFurthermore, Eve rejoiced when she gave birth to her first baby boy. Genesis 4:1 (KJV) reads, “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, ‘I have gotten a man from the LORD.'”

John MacArthur said in one of his sermons that Eve thought Cain would be the one to crush the serpent’s head. Instead, her boy became the world’s first murderer. As Christ’s favourite disciple wrote in 1 John 3:12 (KJV), “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”

As history proved, the promised one was to come thousands of years later. I’ll be pointing out more details about the long journey to the arrival of the Messiah in future posts.

dec03b,snake, brownThe theme of our fallen nature will be the main point of my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? It’s this fallen nature that we all inherited which makes it impossible for us to earn our own salvation. Only repenting and forsaking our own rebellious desire for autonomy will get us into the kingdom of heaven.

On Thursday, I’ll post about the continuing saga of Christ’s lineage and how Muslims claim they’re superior to us.

Saturday Song: The Electric Light Orchestra, “Evil Woman”

As with men, there are righteous and wicked women. Perhaps the most pathetic relationship is a cunning woman enticing a foolish and young man. Many times, people need to learn the hard way.

Listen to this Saturday’s song here.

King Solomon wrote about a wicked and careless woman luring a foolish man into her lair. Proverbs 9:13-18 (KJV) says, “A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways: ‘Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither:’ and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, ‘Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

dec01, Sierran this proverb, the woman was foolish because sin always leads to hell. The man was foolish for figuring he could get away with joining in her sin.

The way to turn and go God’s way is expressed in Psalms 111:10 (KJV). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”

We all must heed the Lord’s command in Ezekiel 33:11 (KJV). “Say unto them, ‘As I live,’ saith the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?'”

I hope what I’ve written will cause people to do a spiritual U-turn. That’s what the Lord wants. How wonderful it is that he doesn’t take pleasure in the destruction of sinners. We’d all be dead if that were the case.

 

Is Animal sacrifice Still required to Please God

Nov29, sheep family, cartoonWhat a pity that pagan religions and offshoots of Judaism still practice animal sacrifice. We who believe in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross must do more to get the word out regarding this gospel to those people.

We know that animals such as sheep and goats were sacrificed in the Old Testament and during the life of Christ. But they were only a foreshadowing of what Christ would do to take our sin away. Hebrews 10:10 (KJV) explains, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

In the Old Testament period , a priest would enter the Holy of Holies once a year to make atonement for the people’s sins through sprinkling lamb’s blood on the altar. But Jesus put an end to that, as Hebrews 9:12 (KJV) explains, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

Nov29a, goat named LucySo how is it then that Hebrews 10:4 (KJV) says, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”? The animals sacrificed were just a spiritual I O U until the perfect Lamb of god would come.

As Hebrews 10:11 (KJV) explains, “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:”

The Holy Spirit gave John the Baptist the inspiration to proclaim in John 1:29 (KJV) who this person would be. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.'”

God wants all people to trust in Christ’s completed work on the cross. As Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) proclaims, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Nov29b, next track, yellow on greyMy goal is to assist people in finding the Lord, May he do this through my next book called You Think You’re Going to Heaven? I pray that people will realize that nothing we puny humans do will remove our sins from our account with God.

And speaking of trusting in the Lord, I plan on posting throughout December how so many prophecies were fulfilled just by Christ’s birth. I’m sure you’ll feel astonishment when you read those.

Bruce Atchison, animal sacrifice in the Old Testament, the Lamb of God, Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 9:12, Hebrews 10:4, Hebrews 10:11, John 1:29, Hebrews 11:6, You Think You’re Going to Heaven?