Once Saved Always Saved

Once Saved Always Saved

Every born again believer has at one time or another thought about the doctrine of eternal security. This doctrine which is near and dear to my heart and I would like to clear up any foggy thoughts you may be struggling with concerning your salvation.

My Zeal for the doctrine

When I was first saved I enjoyed everything which accompanied my salvation, all my burdens of sin were removed. The guilt and weight of my sin were gone and I knew I was forgiven and rested in the fact that I have peace with God. I saw the world differently I saw the beauty in creation, had new desires for the things of God and now I called God Abba Father.

Now as a Christian I had to navigate all of the strange doctrines out there, my first encounter with false doctrine was sitting outside during lunch break when I was approached by a Seventh Day Adventist who tried to convince me that worship was only to be on Saturday. The Holy Spirit in me told me something was wrong I was not sure what at the time but I knew what that man was telling me was false.

How the Lord opened my eyes

I then got roped into the false teaching of “losing my salvation” by a false teacher in Florida (possible future posting). Anyone who advocated for Once Saved Always Saved was seriously wrong in my mind. I became militant in my thinking and was harsh to my brothers and sisters in Christ. I would like to at this time say I’m sorry to anyone who tried showing me the error of my ways and I treated harshly, I’m forever grateful for you speaking truth to me.

I thought anyone who believed in Once Saved Always Saved was just using that as an excuse or license to sin while saying they can never lose their salvation. The truth is no Christian should be wanting to sin even when we know that we have eternal life and cannot lose our salvation.

There was a brother in Christ who also struggled with this question about eternal security. One day he asked me: “Can we lose our salvation?”. And for some reason when he asked me this question it was really profound and did something to me. Before that, I’ve come across that question a hundred times but this time it was different and today I truly count it as a blessing. With God’s grace, I found the truth. And now I’d love to help you answer that question.

Is once saved, always saved biblical?

There are cults out there which would answer yes, even some Christians subscribe to this and would say yes. We want to know what does the Bible teach about eternal security? The moment a person places their trust in Christ they are saved and have fellowship with God.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

The child of God is forgiven of not some but all their trespasses or transgressions. In the epistle of Jude, we’re told that God does the work of keeping the believer if my salvation was dependant on upon myself then I would be in trouble. While I’m saved I still make mistakes but God doesn’t and I can rest from all my works. Knowing the perfect God of Heaven secures me in every way and I can leave it in His hands.

Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke about His sheep in John chapter 10 during the feast of the dedication while at Solomon’s porch. The Jews asked Him “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly”. The Lord Jesus answered them saying “I told you, and ye believed not”, the Jews kept on denying all the works He was doing in the presence of them. The Lord then said His sheep hears His words and they follow Him, and He gives them eternal life.

John 10:28-29 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

If eternal life could be lost then it was never eternal, to begin with, additionally, all believers are secure in the Lord Jesus hand and in the Father’s hand. I don’t know anyone who is more powerful than God? No one is more powerful than God and that includes you. All believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption if a person could lose their salvation that would mean the Holy Spirit would have to leave the believer. The Lord Jesus said in John 14 the Holy Spirit would be in believers forever.

John 14:16, 17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

In the Ephesians epistle, Paul the apostle said that all believers are sealed unto the day of redemption. When God redeemed us on the cross He purchased us with His own blood (Acts 20:28 …to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood).

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

That means all believers are bought with a price and that price was the blood of Jesus and, therefore, God owns us and has sealed us. God wrote His name upon us saying they belong to me.

Jesus Christ said that the Comforter which is the Holy Spirit would dwell in us forever was He lying? God forbid! Jesus Christ never lied (Isaiah 53:9…neither was any deceit in his mouth.) and, therefore, a believer could never lose his/her’s salvation.

God can never lie because He’s perfect and what He says is always true. In one of the most popular verses in the Bible John 3:16 says we will be given everlasting life when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ’s and His atoning sacrifice; because we believed on Christ Jesus we will never perish.

John 3:15-16 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

If salvation could be lost then “everlasting life” wouldn’t be “eternal” or “everlasting”, when you understand this then false teaching such as “losing salvation” is exposed for the heresy that it is. If you believe you can lose your salvation, in essence, you’re calling God a liar and saying He doesn’t have the power to keep you from falling (Jude 1:24).

My hope is that if you’re a believer struggling with the assurance of salvation that this post helps you in knowing that you have eternal life right now. You should rejoice at this wonderful news! John the apostle wrote in 1 John 5 to assure us of this very hope that’s in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

The last verses I’d like to leave you with is a very powerful verse from Paul the apostle in the book of Romans chapter 8. In this verse, we’re told nothing can separate us from God. The believer is secure from everything.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing can take away your salvation including yourself, it says not death, life, angels, principalities, powers, things present, things to come, height, depth, not any other creature (you’re a creature); shall be able to separate us from the love of God. When you look at this list and realise nothing in heaven, in earth or under the earth can take away the free gift God has given you. And when you come across verses which seem as if you can lose your salvation remember this, God’s word never contradicts, therefore, there’s another meaning behind the questionable verse.

If you study God’s word diligently God will bless you with understanding

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God bless.

Jesus Christ is God (John 17:3, 1 John 5:20)

Jesus Christ is God

There are groups out there which call themselves Christians while denying the One in which they would say they believe in. When the subject of Jesus Christ and His deity are spoken of among believers the orthodox belief from the very beginning has stated that Christ is equal to the Father therefore, He (Jesus Christ) is God (John 5:18, Philippians 2:6). While others affirm the same but take the position that the Father and Jesus are the same person. This debate between Trinitarians and oneness/unitarians concerning the Godhead/Triune God being 3 distinct persons has been ongoing for a long time. That’s a subject for another time, today I want to focus on the deity of Christ.

Catch up on the previous post Jesus Christ is God Hebrews 4:14

We’re plagued with groups who masquerade as Christians but really aren’t. The apostles warned us that these things would happen, individuals who claim to be followers of Christ but really believe devilish doctrine (2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Ephesians 5:11, 2 Timothy 3:5, 3:13, 4:3-42 Peter 2:1, 1 John 2:26-27, 4:1-6, Jude 1:4). Even our Lord warned of the coming of such men who would look to draw away others from the truth.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

These groups aren’t Christian at all but are really cults (Jehovah Witnesses, Christadelphians, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist) who use the same biblical terminology while holding completely different definitions. Today I want to focus on an argument the Jehovah Witnesses often bring up when confronted with the fact that Jesus is God. If any Christian states to a Jehovah Witness that Jesus Christ is God the Jehovah Witness will deny this and may bring up this scripture to refute Christ deity.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

They’ll say see Jesus says that “Jehovah” is the only true God, and upon first glance of this verse one may think that’s correct. But if we look at the construction of this verse what it’s really saying is that the Father and Jesus Christ is the only true God. In Greek the copulative kai stands for “and”.

Kai is the conjunction in the construction of that verse. What is a “conjunction”? A conjunction is the act of joining, or condition of being joined. Kai is the root word (Etymology) Apparently, a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force. Knowing this when we read the verse again we see that the only true God is the Father and Jesus Christ.

According to the Jehovah Witnesses theology, the Father alone is the only true God and they say Jesus Christ is a lesser “god” according to their New World Translation. If that’s true then we must ask this question. Is Jesus a true God or a false “god”? When we press this question the Jehovah Witness is stuck because if they say Jesus is a false “god” then they will be contradicting the scriptures. And if they say Jesus is the true God then they’re contradicting the Watchtower. Additionally, they also forget verses such as this one from John’s epistle.

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

Even if you direct them to this verse in the NWT while the rendering of the verse reads a little differently you’ll still see that John is calling Jesus Christ the only true God and knowing Him is eternal life. Who else can give eternal life but God Himself?!

I hope this was helpful and encourage you to reach out to these people who are lost in cults, they have been lead astray and are in danger of being lost in hell for all eternity. We have to approach these people in the love of Christ while still being rooted and grounded in the truth. If you bring these verses to a Jehovah Witness press the question “is Jesus Christ the true God or a false “god”?” Because we know their’s only one God, therefore, any “additional gods” would be false and I don’t think they’re prepared to claim such a blasphemous statement. If they say Jesus is “god-like” just ask again is Jesus the true God or false “god”?

They won’t have a straight answer and will try to divert your attention to other scriptures to avoid answering this question.

Jesus Christ is God (Hebrews 4:14)

Jesus Christ is God

Today we’re going to focus on another role which is fulfilled by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It’s the subject of Him being our great high priest. See last post Jesus Christ is God John 10:11

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Aaron as Priest

Back in the Old Testament, we have Aaron the brother of Moses this was the start of the Levitical priesthood. Just as Moses was a type or shadow of Christ as the “redeemer” of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh as Moses brought them out of Egypt, so was Aaron a picture of Christ as our high priest.

Aaron not being perfect as none are except for the Lord Jesus Himself, he committed two notable sins before the eyes of the Lord, the first one is when he fashioned a molten calf which cased the children of Israel to commit idolatry (Exodus 32:1-6). The other was when he and his sister Miriam spake against Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman (Numbers 12:1) this may have been the first account of racism. Afterwards, the LORD called all three to the tabernacle just as a father would discipline His bickering children; resulting in Miriam’s leprosy (Numbers 12:2-10). God had no tolerance for this possible case of racism.

Levitical Priesthood

Through Aaron, the LORD chose the tribe of Levi to perform all the priestly functions of the tabernacle. The book of Leviticus informs as to how to worship God. God consistently gives us a pattern in which we are to follow if you recall God gave Moses the pattern of how to build the tabernacle (Exodus 25:9). Our God is orderly we cannot worship Him however we feel like by making up our own “rules”. Things are done in a precise way, how we gather, how we are to have order in the church etc. Leviticus contains the laws concerning worship and sacrifices before God for Israel, holy days, moral laws, ceremonial cleanness and the sabbath. Leviticus can be divided up into the following sections:

Ch 1-16 Approach to God – The Altar and Worship

  1. The Means – ch 1-7
  2. The Mediators – ch 8-10
  3. The Manner – purity – ch 11-15
  4. The Maintenance – ch 16

Ch 17-27 Abiding with God – Appreciation of God’s Character and our Walk

  1. People – ch 17-20
  2. Priests – ch 21-22
  3. Feasts – ch 23-24
  4. Canaan – ch 25-27

The Book of Hebrews

It’s very important to get a clear understanding of the book of Hebrews for many reasons. Some try to use it to teach that you can lose your salvation. The warning passages must be understood as warnings to Jews who had made a profession in Christ but were thinking of returning to the Temple sacrifices. This would give proof that they were never saved in the first place.

The text in Hebrews gives us a deeper understanding of the priestly work of Christ. It was proclaimed by God in the Old Testament in the book of Psalms.

Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Christ the things spoken of who Melchizedek is directly correlated to the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s word says that Melchizedek had no father nor mother, neither beginning of days, nor end of life. This means He had no earthly father or mother and had no beginning or end of life, this can only speak of deity. The same is spoken of the Lord Jesus in John as He always existed as the Word.

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

The Word was always there from eternity past He was literally face to face with God, in the Greek, it’s pros (πρός) ton (τὸν) Theon (θεόν). Therefore, the Word never was created He always been with the Father having no “beginning or end of life” just as Melchizedek.

Because of the fall of man in the garden we are in total depravity in a bad standing before the Creator, dead in sins and trespasses. In the Old Testament, the high priest would go into the Holiest of Holies once a year to atone for the sins of the people. But the blood of bulls and goats could never atone for sin.

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

The purpose of God (Elohim) was for the Son (the Word) would come into the world and take on human flesh to be the only perfect sacrifice which would make a permanent atonement for sins. That’s what Christ did, He alone is perfect and without sin (2 Corinthians 5:211 Peter 2:21-25). God said that He was done with the sacrifices of the children of Israel (Isaiah 1:11Hosea 6:6Psalm 51:16).

In Hebrews chapter 5 as it relates to the Lord Jesus Christ as our high priest, it brings forth His never-ending priesthood “after the order of Melchisedec” before God the Father. He (Jesus Christ) makes intercession for the saints before the throne and is our advocate (Romans 8:34).

Hebrews 5:1, 5-6 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: … So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Another beautiful truth about these passage of scripture is that the Lord Jesus is both fully God and fully man. A priest according to the Levitical priesthood must be from the tribe of Levi and a man, but that line of priest is not everlasting because it’s composed of human’s. Christ, because He’s God, continues forever without beginning or end of days.

Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Only the perfect man Jesus Christ being God in the flesh is able to be our mediator.

Hebrews 9:6-7, 11-14 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: … But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 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. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The blood of Christ mentioned here tells us that His (Jesus Christ) blood is infinitely better than any other sacrifice. Because Christ is perfect and the scriptures say only God is perfect, Christ sharing the same nature as the Father and the Holy Spirit are collectively 3 distinct co-equal co-eternal persons are capable to keep us and bring us into His presence.

Hope you’ve enjoyed.

Jesus Christ is God (John 10:11)

Jesus Christ is God

The most famous of Psalms has been quoted so many times among believers and unbelievers alike if that’s believable? Those who maybe never read a Bible before will know these words and have most likely heard them before. See last post Jesus Christ is God in Exodus 3:2

Psalm 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

SHEPHERDS

The word of “shepherd” is mentioned throughout the Bible occurs 43 times in 40 verses in the KJV (depending on which version) and the other being “shepherds”occurs 38 times in 33 verses in the KJV (again depending on which version). David the son of Jesse was a shepherd before becoming king of Israel. Abel was the first shepherd mentioned in Genesis, Abraham keep sheep, we’re also told in the New Testament about the shepherds in the field in the gospel of Luke and that the Holy Spirit raises up overseers (elders) to shepherd the flock of God.

THE SHEPHERD

The LORD God refers to Himself as the Shepherd in the Old Testament, as the God who will look over His people, help guide them and protect them. There’s no denying that the LORD is the Shepherd for all believers, we are brought to the still waters and fed. He fights for us (Exodus 14:14-16Deuteronomy 3:22Romans 12:19) and delivers us from our enemies.

Psalm 80:1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

Only the LORD of Host dwells between the cherubims as we are continually told in Old Testament scriptures when it speaks of Him filling the Tabernacle with His glory. And here in Psalm 80:1 we see the gentleness of our God with a soft touch He leads Israel as well as the rest of His flock (Gentile believers) pointing back to Psalm 23. What a wonderful God we serve.

Ezekiel 34:30-31 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

As believers, we also have the name of being “His sheep” and His people. Those who will follow our Lord through the green pastures no matter where He takes us.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD

How can we forget those wonderful passages from the Lord Jesus in the gospel of John. The Lord Jesus is teaching the people that the devil only comes to steal, kill and destroy; but Christ in His loving mercy shows is the contrast between those who don’t care for us because they are paid strangers doing a job, and Himself who would risk His life for us and He did He died on that rugged cross for us guilty sinners.

Shepherd def

The Lord Jesus calls each one of us by name because He knows us intimately (John 10:3) but to the one who would try to climb in another way without going to Christ is a robber (John 10:1) that’s because salvation is only found by coming to Jesus Christ who is The Door of the sheepfold.

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

The Lord Jesus continues to preach to the people explaining to them that all those who came before are thieves and a robbers. Just as we see today those people who would try to place themselves in a position of where Christ alone stands (John 10:8-9). Only God can give life no created creature who is lesser than God can give life, God gives life and spiritual life (eternal life), and it’s in this truth we see the Lord Jesus is God as He says in the next verse.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

He came to give abundant life which is beyond the reaches of death, all believers are privileged beyond our wildest dreams to have this, we have been given something we don’t deserve and never will. The gift of eternal life is for all those who would come to Christ for the forgiveness of sins. The Lord Jesus then applies one of the names (I AM) God mentions in the Old Testament.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Just as God states in the Old Testament He is the Shepherd of His people always guiding them through this fallen world into glory. And the Lord Jesus is the same Almighty God as He makes this statement.

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

THE CHIEF SHEPHERD

The apostle Peter also mentions in the general epistles how the Lord Jesus is the Chief Shepherd, this title can only be attributed to God alone. This was in teaching the assembly of believers about local church order how younger men should submit themselves to the elders. In this Peter addresses the elders telling them that it’s God’s flock and not to lord over God’s heritage.

1 Peter 5:1-4 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

The Chief Shepherd mentioned is Christ Jesus, if the flock of God belongs to God and the Chief Shepherd of that flock is the Lord Jesus then Jesus Christ is God. I hope you’ve enjoyed this reading, God bless.

Jesus Christ is God (Exodus 3:2)

Jesus Christ is God

In the last post we saw how Jesus Christ is God in Luke 5:21. God has slowly revealed Himself to His people, He chose the nation of Israel for His inheritance. When we look at the patriarchs concerning Israel we know that in the seed of Abraham shall all the nations of the world be blessed (Genesis 22:18). Abraham’s seed was blessed by God Himself for the scriptures say.

The angel of the LORD

Genesis 22:15-17 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

If you read the above verses in Genesis carefully you’ll notice something quite remarkable, Abraham was not blessed by a mere angel, this angel was unique. First, this angel is called “the angel of the LORD” whenever “the angel of the LORD” mentioned this angel does things no mere angel can, for instance, this angel swore by Himself saying “By myself have I sworn”.

We see this occur in other scriptures where it specifically says the LORD sworn by Himself. This is God speaking not some random angel for only God can make such proclamations of promise (Genesis 22:16Isaiah 45:23). This particular angel blesses has changed the name of Abraham from Abram and Jacob to Israel etc.

Jeremiah 49:13 For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.

I AM THAT I AM

We established that “the angel of the LORD” is more than an “angel”, to understand more deeply what the term angel means we need to look at the Hebrew. The word for “angel” in the Hebrew is mal’ak it’s a masculine noun. In our English language, we tend to think of an angel as an angelic being with wings and at times the word does mean that but the term is also used to indicate.

I. messenger, representative

A. messenger

B. angel

C. the theophanic angel

מֲלְאָךְ mălʼâk, mal-awk’; from an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically, of God, i.e. an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher):—ambassador, angel, king, messenger.

In the book of Exodus chapter 3 Moses after fleeing Egypt to escape persecution after slewing/killing the Egyptian (Exodus 2:12) he finds himself in Midian at Mt Horeb and the angel of the LORD appears to Moses. We all know that God appeared to Moses in the burning bush but let’s look at that closely.

Exodus 3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

The scripture says “the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush”. Again this angel is more than a created angelic being I present to you that this is God Himself who made Himself known to Moses. Just two verses after it says that “God called” out to Moses.

Exodus 3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

He (God) then tells Moses to take off his shoes from his feet and goes on to proclaim “I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). There’s no mistake that God appeared to Moses but it also says that the angel of the LORD appeared to Moses, there’s only one conclusion that when the scriptures speak of the “the angel of the LORD” this is God Himself. But if we jump into the New Testament we are told that no one has seen God (John 1:181 John 4:12) therefore we still need more clarification.

Moses asked God to see His glory and God told Moses that if He saw Him he would die.

Exodus 33:18-20 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

And in the book of 1 Timothy 6, it says that King of kings, and Lord of lords “dwells in the light which no man can approach unto”

1 Timothy 6:15-16 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

But we clearly see that the LORD did, in fact, appear unto Abraham, Hagar, Jacob, Moses and others. The angel of the LORD is God because He has the same attributes of God.

I am

The context of John chapter 8, Jesus Christ arrives at the Mount of Olives and in the temple begins to teach the people, the scribes and Pharisees are looking for ways to trap the Lord Jesus by bringing a woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:1-3) the crowd of people while holding stones are ready to kill the woman. The Pharisees start asking Him questions in hope that He would slip with His words and contradict the Law of Moses (John 8:4-6). The Lord Jesus then tells them (knowing they all in the crowd are sinners) “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) showing them their hypocrisy.

Afterwards, all the people knowing that each of them has sinned dropped the stones and departed. The Lord Jesus Christ then shows grace to this woman and forgives her of her sins “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11).

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The Lord Jesus makes tells them He’s God by making this statement “I am the light of the world”, the reaction of the Pharisees is very telling as they get angry and say “Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.” (John 8:13) they knew exactly what was being claimed that Jesus Christ is God. The scriptures say that God shows us light (Psalm 118:27) that God is light (1 John 1:5). Jesus Christ then tells them His testimony is true and that the Father bears witness of Him, that even in the Old Testament the testimony of 2 witnesses is true (John 8:14-19).

The Pharisees were confused at this as they still in unbelief ask the Lord  “Where is thy Father?”. He then goes into the temple treasury to teach, He goes onto tell them they will die in their sins and He will return to Heaven and they cannot follow Him even telling them “I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world” (John 8:20-23).

The Lord gives them a message of urgency that if they don’t believe who He says He is then they will die in their sins.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

The Lord Jesus continued to teach in the temple as there were believing Jews there and was encouraging them to continue in His word.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The unbelieving Jews hearing this began to go back and forth with Him saying “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?” (John 8:33). Those unbelieving Jews didn’t understand that they were indeed in bondage to their sin as they and still to this day believe that following the Law of Moses will make them right with God, but it won’t for only the Lord Jessus was able to keep the Law perfectly. Jesus then tells them:

John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

The Lord Jesus starts to draw distinctions between those who are children of Abraham and those looking to kill Him, also between the “Father” (God) and “their father” (devil) (John 8:34-36). This angered the unbelieving Jews as they responded saying “Abraham is our father” the Lord’s reply was “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39) meaning they would be doing the same things as Abraham.

Then the Lord Jesus says they seek to kill Him that Abraham would have never looked to do such things. That these unbelieving Jews are doing the works of their father (devil). The Jews appeal to not having been born in fornication stating that God is their Father.

John 8:40-41 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

The Lord Jesus tells them if God was their Father, if they truly were children of God then they would love Christ because He came from the Father, but they cannot understand the truthful words our Lord is telling them (John 8:42-43) and here’s why.

John 8:44-46 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

The unbelieving Jews are told by the Lord Jesus that they are children of the devil and previous to that statement He tells them they aren’t children of Abraham because if they were they wouldn’t be trying to kill Him. Not to be confused these unbelieving Jews were Jewish according to the flesh they had a fleshly connection but spiritually they weren’t Jews which matters most, and last but not least because of all of this they weren’t able to hear or understand the Lord’s words.

John 8:45, 47 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. … He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

At this point, the Jews are really riled up and blaspheme twice making a false claim about the Lord Jesus saying: “Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?” (John 8:48) and “Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.” (John 8:52). They then ask if He was greater than Abraham (John 8:53). The pressure is building and at some point, something is going to give.

The Lord answers their question regarding who’s greater Abraham or the Lord of Glory Himself.

John 8:54-56 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

The Lord Jesus Christ tells them plainly that Abraham rejoiced to see Him “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” The unbelieving Jews then make this statement and question, “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?” (John 8:57) And here comes the climax of the chapter the Lord Jesus responds saying:

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

The crowd flies into a frenzy grabbing stones to kill Jesus because they knew exactly what He claimed. He was claiming to be God Himself, the same God which spoke to Moses out of the burning bush back in Exodus 3:14

In the Greek the word for “I am” is egō eimi  (I exist)

ἐγώ egṓ, eg-o’; a primary pronoun of the first person I (only expressed when emphatic):—I, me.

εἰμί eimí, i-mee’; the first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist (used only when emphatic):—am, have been, it is I, was.

Just as He said back at the burning bush I AM THAT I AM, the Lord Jesus is saying that He is the  I am. The original Hebrew equivalent from Exodus is: hayah. 

הָיָה hâyâh, haw-yaw; a primitive root; to exist, i.e. be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary):—beacon, altogether, be(-come), accomplished, committed, like), break, cause, come (to pass), do, faint, fall, follow, happen, have, last, pertain, quit (one-) self, require, use.

God Himself stepped into His own creation to save sinners.

Jesus Christ is God (Luke 5:21)

Jesus Christ is God

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

The gospel of Luke records in chapter 5 the man brought to Jesus in a bed. The Lord Jesus Christ in His ministry here on earth performed many miracles, signs and works before the children of Israel. He, of course, was faced with the opposition from the Pharisees and many other religious leaders of Jerusalem. Today we are going to look at one of those miracles the Lord did in their sight.

Luke 5:17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Here the scene is set, the Lord Jesus is teaching and the “Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by” these men from the surrounding towns of Galilee, Judaea and Jerusalem and were well familiar with the Law of Moses. They’re concerned was not with the Lord’s teaching but with trying to figure out ways to trap Him. But concerning the people that were there fortunately for them “the power of the Lord was present to heal them”. 

Luke 5:18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.

The men spoken of here had great faith that the Lord would be able to heal this man bedridden with the palsy. They sought to lay him down before Christ and it’s at this point that their faith was put to the test.

Luke 5:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.

Faith in action, how these men didn’t allow any obstacle to come in their way; just as we shouldn’t allow anything to come between us and the Lord. The house would have been so packed with people, one can only imagine the enormous crowd blocking the way to the Lord. But these men didn’t allow that to stop them they literary climb up on the roof and let the man down by an opening. Nothing was going to stop these men from standing before the Lord.

Luke 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

Christ Jesus affirms their faith, and here’s where we need to pay attention the most, the Lord Jesus says “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee”. A tremendous statement! A mere man cannot say this neither can an angel make such a statement. The Pharisees and doctors are among the people and hear this and the question was put forth.

Luke 5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?

“Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” indeed who can forgive sins but God and that’s the takeaway. The Lord Jesus is God because He did forgive sins, no other person can forgive only the Creator Himself can do such a miracle. Every one of us who have had our sins forgiven has heard these words (not audibly), but all believers were told those wonderful words which continues to ring in our ears and souls “thy sins are forgiven thee“. God’s word cannot be more clear that Jesus Christ is God just as the scriptures teach. We have a Creator who loves His creation so much that He wants a personal relationship with them. 

And while that relationship was ruined because of the stain of sin, the Lord of Glory knew the only way to repair that broken fellowship was to bring us back to Himself by dying on the cross for wretched sinners. That fellowship is only made possible by the precious blood that was shed on Calvary for those who would receive the free gift of salvation. Indeed who can forgive sins but God alone?! Praise God that He did!! 

You can also read the gospel of Mark 2:17 for the same account concerning the man sick of the palsy.

The Gadarene Demoniac

The power on display as others marvel in wonder. Overcoming any adversary with sheer strength without the hint of mercy. Dominating all people and nations leaving trembling victims in his wake. An unstoppable power forcing all to their knees. This is how governments across the world portray themselves. But praise God the Prince of Peace was not so.

Inhabitants of Gadara

In the gospel, according to Luke 8:26-39, (v1), we’ve come to a place called Gadarenes (Gadara) a country on the east of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River. In the verses, we’re going to look at sets a scene in the hilltops of the country. Before we begin let’s look at what the name means. The Greek word for Gadarenes is Gadarēnos (gä-dä-rā-no’s)

Gadarenes = “reward at the end”

also called Gergesenes, was the capital of Peraea, situated opposite the south extremity of the Lake of Gennesaret to the south-east, but at some distance from the lake on the banks of the river Hieromax

Γαδαρηνός Gadarēnós, gad-ar-ay-nos’; from Γαδαρά Gadará (a town east of the Jordan); a Gadarene or inhabitant of Gadara:—Gadarene.

Luke 8:26-27 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

How this sounds like each one of us before coming to know Christ as our Saviour. I don’t mean to say every one of us was demon-possessed (while some were), but we all “met him” and each one of us were destitute and naked “and ware no clothes” this man literally had no clothes. We also were dead in our sins keeping company with others who too were dead in their trespasses against God “in the tombs”. The bible doesn’t tell us precisely how long this man was in this state of possession. All we know is that he “had devils long time”. The lifestyle of this man was completely defiling in Leviticus God tells the Israelites to stay away from the dead or they will be defiled.

Leviticus 21:11 Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;

The demoniac man was secluded walking among dead people. In the gospel of Mark, we have more details Luke doesn’t tell us about in Mark’s account it says that he was “in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:5). The torture and pain felt must have been great, the darkness and despair caused him to inflict wounds upon himself. This could be a glimpse of the darkness the book of Revelation refers to in chapter 16, God’s “fifth angel pours out his vial upon the seat of the beast” this caused the people to “gnawed their tongues for pain” (Revelation 16:10).

Jesus, thou Son of God Most High

Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

The demoniac man falls down before the feet of the Saviour, in the gospel of Mark it says that the man ran to Jesus and worshipped Him (Mark 5:6). Does the Lord Jesus tell the man to go away? No. The grace of the Saviour He sees a man in desperate need and helps Him. I hope we all learn from the Lord’s example to help those who are in need. I can only imagine this man must have been dirty and smelled rancid. And the Lord never turns him away.

Notice the demon cried out saying “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not”. This is significant as it speaks to the pre-existence of Jesus Christ as the Word (John 1:1, 1:3) the one who created all things (Psalm 102:25-27, Isaiah 44:24, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:10-12, Revelation 4:11). The demon acknowledges by saying “thou Son of God most high” he knew that Christ is the Son of God, God manifests in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

In the gospel according to Matthew, he says “Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” Legion knew that there was a time when all the demonic forces would be tormented forever in the lake of fire with the devil (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 19:20, 20:10) and begged the Lord Jesus not to be tormented.

Luke 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

What is thy name?

The power of the Word of God in all its splendour with all authority Jesus Christ commands the unclean to depart and the sprit has no choice but to come out of him. This man was completely in spiritual bondage incapable of being free even though they attempted restraining him with fetters he would brake them but was never truly free from bondage. Before Legion is cast out the Lord asks “What is thy name?”

Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

This demonic spirit seems to be comprised of many devils as the name Legion implies. If we dive into the Greek the meaning of Legion is:

legiōn

I. a legion, a body of soldiers whose number differed at different times, and in the time of Augustus seems to have consisted of 6826 men (i.e. 6100 foot soldiers, and 726 horsemen)

λεγεών legeṓn, leg-eh-ohn’; of Latin origin; a “legion”, i.e. Roman regiment (figuratively):—legion.

From this, we can conclude there were many devils in this man.

Luke 8:31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

The devils were terrified at the fact of being cast out “into the deep” deep is another word if we take a look at the Greek meaning:

abyssos

I. bottomless

II. unbounded

III. the abyss

A. the pit

B. the immeasurable depth

C. of Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons.

ἄβυσσος ábyssos, ab’-us-sos; from G1 (as a negative particle) and a variation of G1037; depthless, i.e. (specially) (infernal) “abyss”:—deep, (bottomless) pit.

The bottomless pit is also spoken of in the book of Revelation there’s an angel who is given the “key of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 9:1) he proceeds to open the pit and smoke comes out like a “great furnace” (Revelation 9:2) and locusts came up from the heart of the earth (Matthew 12:39-40). These locusts which are released to wreak havoc upon sinful mankind have a king over them according to Revelation 9:11 an angel who goes by the names Abaddon in Hebrew and Apollyon in Greek. These names give us more insight as to who this angel is when looking at these names in the original languages.

Abaddon in Hebrew

I. Abaddon = “destruction”

A. ruin

B. destruction

C. the place of destruction

D. the name of the angel-prince of the infernal regions, the minister of death and the author of havoc on the earth

Apollyon in Greek

I. Apollyon = “Destroyer”

A. the angel of the bottomless pit, the Destroyer

Herd of many swine

Luke 8:32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

Here we see that the people of Gadara kept a herd of swine, it’s been said that the country of Gadara was a Hellenistic people those who were influenced by the Greek culture. The reason why they are considered to be Hellenistic is that according to the Old Testament Law God commands the children of Israel not to touch any swine for it’s unclean (Leviticus 11:7, Deuteronomy 14:8).

Also, notice that the devils had no authority before the Lord “they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them”. They asked permission to enter into the swine and the Lord Jesus allowed them to enter into the swine. This is more proof that believers who have the Spirit of God indwelling inside them cannot be demon-possessed, there are Christians who believe a devil can co-inhabit a person with the Holy Ghost. This belief is erroneous and not possible for the true child of God. After the Lord permits the devils to depart this man it says in the following verse.

Luke 8:33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

The devils knew there’s coming a time in which they will be destroyed in the lake of fire, the time is not yet I supposed the devils were just buying time and just wanted to escape their judgement for the moment. The response of the people in the Gadarenes was unwelcoming, they only cared for the swine it was most likely the way they made profits herding swine. They should have rejoiced at this miracle performed by the Lord Jesus, seeing that God was in their midst and that this man was made whole again (Luke 8:34-37).

What Jesus has done for you

Luke 8:38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

The response of this man is how every child of God should respond because we also have been saved and had those bonds removed from us. The Demoniac man wanted to continue to stay in the presence of the Lord but was sent away “but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee”. Just as the Lord Jesus has sent us out to proclaim the good news of salvation to the lost, this man also was sent to bring the glad tidings to others that they may know the saving power of God.

The remarkable highlight of these verses is that while a miracle was performed, a man released from demon possession the Lord Jesus says: “Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee.” the man goes out to proclaim “how great things Jesus had done unto him”, can you see the connection?

More proof that Jesus Christ is God, rest well in knowing that the one who made all things is inside of you believer and He will continue to uphold you till the day He comes for His bride.

Luke 8:39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

Some other verses proving that Jesus Christ is God (Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1, 1:3, 8:58, 14:9, 20:28, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Colossians 1:15-17, 1 Timothy 3:16).