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God So Loved the World

(Pray that All would Embrace Him)

Jesus is the Truth 

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


What a bold statement Jesus is claiming here. For he is saying that there is no other way to God except through him, and him alone. In other words, Jesus is implying that all other religions and beliefs are false and he is the only true way to God. To go even further with this, Jesus said: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18) So, God’s word is letting us know that it’s through Christ, and Christ alone that our sins are atoned.


IT’S A RELATIONSHIP

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (John 15:16)

 

I’ve have come to believe that faith in Jesus is the only way to have a true relationship with God the Father. For I myself was one of those who was running from God. I wanted to live life my way and to do the things I wanted to do. This was true even though I knew what I was doing was wrong and was effecting others too. But the the good news is that one day while I was wallowing in my sin and feeling so lost, God reveled His Son to me in a real way.

 

You see, I heard about Jesus and even went to church when I was young. However, I never really knew who He was until that day He opened my eyes. And for the first time in my life I understood who God was and realized that I can actually have a relationship with Him. And what else is exciting is the fact that He chose me, and not me choosing Him. I was not looking for Him, but He was looking for me and made Himself known to me. So now, all I want to be is totally in love with Him, because He is so in love with me. I want to be always mindful of Him, worshiping and praising Him with my whole being.


MY SINS ARE PAID FOR

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:20)

 

Remember what was said earlier about God giving His only Begotten Son. This relationship that I have with God is because Jesus died on the cross for my sins. This he did so that I can be forgiven of all the wrong that I ever done. He took my place by suffering for me, not only through whippings and being nailed to the cross, but he spent three days and nights in hell as well. This Jesus did, suffering the affliction that was do me and you as well. I myself can’t earn my forgiveness by doing good works. And the fact is, there is no other religion that can give you a love relationship like this. That’s because they are all based on man’s efforts and works and not on what God has done. He is our perfect sinless sacrifice who took the penalty for all the bad thing that we ever committed. Amen. 


Now, we can see that God the Father himself paid a high price by giving his Son for our sins. So, it should not come as a surprise to learn why God would punish all who refuse to except Jesus as their Savior. You see, we weren’t bought with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. (1st Peter 1:18-19) But that being said, God desires that none should perish but that all would come to repentance. (2nd Peter 3:9) God doesn’t want us to die in our sins but to receive his Son and spend all eternity with him in paradise. (Ezekiel 33:11) So that should tell you why I’m so in love with God, because he thought of me and saved me from eternal punishment. 


THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

 

Do you want true love, joy and peace in your life? Well you can. You see, this is the outcome of a true relationship with Jesus Christ. All you have to do is repent of your sins and give your life over to God. For you will then see life in a whole new way. It’s like being “Born Again.” (John 3:3, 1st Peter 1:22-23) You see, God will fill you with his Holy Spirit and that is why you’ll experience this new life. By walking after the Spirit, you can put to death that old life and now live a life pleasing to God. (Romans 8:13) And the neat thing is, you’ll be so excited that you’ll want everyone to know about this new relationship that you have with God.

 

WALKING IN THE SPIRIT?

We need to be aware of God’s presence in everything we think, say and do. Now having said that, what would be the results of a person walking after the Spirit? Well, they would be so filled with his love, joy and peace which would pour over into other people lives as well. In other words, a Spirit filled life can (and should) radically change our life and the lives of others. That’s what we’re called to do

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  • I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21)


IN CLOSING

There is a God who is real and loves you so much. He’ll bring true meaning and purpose to your life if you’ll just give yourself over to him. Any other way would be empty and meaningless, so ask him to be Lord and Savior of your life and receive him in your heart today. You will not regret it, believe me. Amen.

It's a Love Relationship

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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

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The word became flesh

(Pray that All Would see this Truth)

In the Beginning was the Word


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


Jesus, before coming to earth was the Word who was with God and was God. Also, we know that through him all things were made, both in heaven and on earth as well. (John 1:1-3, Hebrews 1:2) Now, if we would take the time to read through the bible, we would discover that God sent the Word into the world to became flesh and blood just as we are. (John 1:14) This he did in order for Jesus to take on the sins of the world so that we can be forgiven and saved. Now, for us to explain what Jesus was like when he was the Word of God, would be only our own guess. The best we can do would be to read Proverbs chapter 8. 


For in Proverbs chapter 8 and starting at verse 22, we have a description of who Jesus was before coming to earth. I'm not alone on this for as you can see below we have some learned men who declare that this passage in Proverbs was talking about  Jesus when he was still the Word.


  • Matthew Henry said: That it is an intelligent and divine person that here speaks seems very plain, and that it is not meant of a mere essential property of the divine nature, for Wisdom here has personal properties and actions; and that intelligent divine person can be no other than the Son of God himself, to whom the principal things here spoken of wisdom are attributed in other scriptures, and we must explain scripture by itself.
  • Dr. J. Vernon McGee said: Now I think from here on, that you will discover that the Lord Jesus is mentioned. … Now will you notice here, verse 22, “Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.” This is the Lord Jesus, this is wisdom, “I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning before the earth was.” So that we have here the Lord Jesus mentioned. And when it says I was "set up," “I was anointed from everlasting.” Now this is the one that you have mentioned in the Gospel of John in that prologue, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God.
  •  Dr. Henry M. Morris said: 8:22 possessed - "Possessed" is the same word as "acquired." The Lord Jesus Christ was not merely the only Son of God, but the only begotten Son of God. He was "in the beginning" with God, and He was God. ...The doctrine of the "eternal generation" of the Son from the Father is beyond human comprehension. 8:23 set up. "Set up" is the same word as "anointed." ...8:24 Brought forth. Another reference to the "eternal generation" of the Son. He was before the earth, before anything. 8:35 finder life. This is a clear reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, the very personification of the divine wisdom, in whom alone a lost sinner can find eternal life.


JEHOVAH THY GOD WILL RAISE UP A PROPHET LIKE ME

Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (Deuteronomy 18:15)


According to this passage above, Jehovah is going raise up a prophet like Moses. So, what was Moses like? Was he fully God and man, or was he totally like us in nature and form? Like us in nature and form no doubt. So, that would reason when Jesus came to earth, he took on the form of a man just like us as well. For we read: "Have this mindset in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, considered being equal with God not something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:5-8)


We see from what was quoted above, that Jesus emptied himself by completely letting go of his heavenly nature and all the attributes. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; ... Wherefore in all things he was indebted to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. Did you grasp that? He had to be made like His brethren in all things. (Hebrews 2:14, 17)


And let's take heed to what John the apostle said: “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” This is a deceiver and an antichrist. So, if anyone is claiming that Jesus wasn't fully human like us, then that person would be a deceiver and an antichrist? Something we must all be concerned about. (2 John 1:7)


DID JESUS BRAKE THE SABBATH?

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:18)


Now, let’s not come to the wrong conclusion believing that Jesus broke the sabbath and claimed to be God. For we need to examine this passage with other scriptures to find out what’s being said here. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-17) So, Jesus said he came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it. 


The Jesus goes on to say: “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19) So, if Jesus broke the sabbath, he according to his own words would be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.


We see this happening also when the pharisees accused the disciples of breaking the sabbath: At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. (Matthew 12:1-2) But again, we have Jesus putting them in their place by saying: “But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. (Matthew 12:6-8) Jesus said they were guiltless, therefore, they didn’t break the sabbath day as well.


DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE GOD?

Next, did Jesus in this same passage in John 5:18 make himself equal with God? Well, not according to Matthew 19:17, for we read: “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” So, Jesus wouldn’t even accept being called good, even though he himself was without sin. This statement of Jesus should silence any claims of him being fully God in the flesh. For the apostle John was only recording what was wrongfully perceived by the Jews.


We can see the same thing happening in John 10:30 and 33 where the Jews wanted to stone Jesus for saying: “I and the Father are one,” in which the Jews responded: “We are not going to stone you for a good work, but for defaming words, and because you, being a man, make yourself a god.” So again, we have the Jews reading more into this than what Jesus was trying to convey to them. However, we have Jesus putting things in their proper perspective by reminding them saying: “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:34-36)


Now, let’s look at another passage that sheds light on what being said here. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (Mark 2:5-7) So, can God only forgive sins? Well, let’s read: So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:21-23) There we have it. Jesus gave us the authority both to forgive, or not to forgive a person’s sins. Therefore, we see another false assumption made by the religious rulers.


In the Aramaic English New Testament (the Peshitta), we have Andrew Gabriel Roth, a Messianic Jew, commentary on John 5:18 saying: “the charge here of Y’shua making himself equal to YHWH is simply Pharisee tradition projecting itself onto Y’shua.” Then Mr. Roth goes on to say: “The Ruach haKadesh (the Holy Spirit) in Mashiyach (in Christ) is equal to YHWH (God), but the Pharisees supposed that Y’shua and his followers equated his humanity with YHWH, they didn’t understand Isaiah 11:1-2, that Mahiyach has the Ruach haKadesh within him.” So we see that Jesus was not indicating that he was of the same nature as the Godhead while being in the flesh, but it was the Jew who perceived it this way.


GOD WITH US

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? (Matthew 1:23)


But some may say, “doesn’t that passage quoted above claim that God is with us?” Yes, that is true, but let’s remember that Jesus emptied himself and became fully flesh and blood. Therefore, by becoming flesh as we are, he was made in the image and likeness of God. But let’s also remember that Jesus was not only filled with the Spirit of God, but was without sin as well. So, he would fit this picture even more perfectly. Therefore, all who see him are seeing a clear image of who the Father is. “For in him dwells, in a bodily manner, all the fullness of what God is” (Colossians 2:9). “For he whom God sent continues to speak the words of God, for He continues to give to him the spirit without limit. (John 3:34) So again, all those who have seen Jesus, also have seen the Father at work within him. Therefore, Jesus can rightly say: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9)


So, we see that Jesus was one with the Father through the presence of the Holy Spirit within him. And in like manner, we are one with both God the Father and Jesus Christ. This is true because the Holy Spirit dwells within us as well. For we read: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John 17:21-23)


IN THREE DAYS I WILL RAISE IT UP

Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (John 2:18-19)


Now we come across another passage that needs to be examined closely. For we must ask ourselves, did Jesus raise himself up? So, to determine this we need to examine what God’s word has to say below.

 

  • First, we read: “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” (Acts 2:23-24) 
  • Next we read: The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 5:30) 
  • And then finally we read: “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:13-17) 


Now, from what was quoted above, we can see that there are three scriptures that bear witness that God raised up Jesus, and not Jesus himself. So, to find out what Jesus is really saying here, let’s look at a few other scriptures below that will help shed light on this.

 

  • The first is a repeat of what Peter said above: “For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Acts 2:25-27) 
  • The next one is also from the words of Peter who said: “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” (Acts 2:29-32) 


So, from all that we read above, we can see that Jesus was not claiming to raise himself up, but was prophesying on what God was going to do according to Psalm 16:9-10 and Matthew 12:40. This was the fact that his soul would not be left in hell but be raise-up by God in three days.


JESUS BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, (Luke 4:1) 


Jesus, being fully human, was filled and led by the Holy Spirit as said before. For we can see this to be true in John the Baptist’s own testimony of Jesus which reads: And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. (John 1:32-33)

 

Let's remember what Peter said: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. (Acts 2:22) First, we see Peter saying that he was "a man approved of God,” and this through "miracles and wonders and signs.” And then secondly, we read: "which God did by him.” Also, Jesus said concerning himself: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:1) And in Colossians 2:9 we read: “for in him dwells, in a bodily manner, all the fullness of what God is.”


Therefore, Jesus who became just like us, was operating through the power of the Spirit of God. This would include his ability to do miracles, casting out demons, foreseeing events and all other supernatural works. And let’s remember that Jesus Himself said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. (John 14:12) So, we also by the power of the Holy Spirit, are going to do all things that Jesus did, and even greater as he said (except to die for the sins of the world).


DOING DISHONOR TO JESUS

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. (Matthew 16:23)


We like Peter, may think we’re doing Jesus honor with our words and actions. But just like Peter, we can actually bring Jesus dishonor with our wrong conclusions. This would include anyone thinking that Jesus was both fully God and man at the same time, or believing that he didn’t suffer in hell in our place, or even proclaiming that he didn’t exist before becoming to earth. All these wrong conclusions would be robbing Jesus of the glory that is due him.


Other passages that show that Jesus emptied himself of his deity and became fully man on our behalf.


  • But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. (Mark 13:32)
  • And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:34)
  • “For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Acts 2:25-27)
  • And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I place my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. (Luke 23:46)
  • But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)
  • Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (Hebrews 5:7-9)

Word to the Reader

I know that there may be some of you who don't agree on all what’s being said here. But please understand that my intent is to show you from God's word who Jesus is and even was before he became flesh like us. So that being said, let's at least agree that he came in the flesh to show us the way to the Father and to  die for our sins.

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Bought at a Price

(Pray that All Would count the Cost)

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)


HE BECAME SIN FOR US 

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)


God who so loves us, desires that none should perish but that all would turn to him and be forgiven. So, to make this possible, he sent his Son Jesus Christ who took our sins upon himself. Yes, this is true: “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) 


Jesus, “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 12:2) And not only that, he suffered by the hands of sinful man through beatings and whipping's as well, “by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1Peter 2:24) And then last of all, Christ died and spent three days and nights in hell. For Jesus said: "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40) This Jesus did because of his love for us. (John 15:12-13, Galatians 2:20)


WHAT WAS IT LIKE? 

Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. (Jonah 2:1-2)


Now, you may be wondering what did Jesus experience in the heart of the earth. Well, how was it for the prophet Jonah as quoted above? For Jesus did say as Jonah was so must the Son of man be. So, from what we read, we can see that Jonah was experiencing affliction and quoted it as being in hell. And furthermore, Jesus called Jonah a prophet and even at one point said: "in the volume of the book it is written of me.” (Hebrews 10:7, Psalm 40:7-9) Also, we can see from the account of the "Rich man and Lazarus" that hell is a place of torment. For: “he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” (Luke 16:24)

 

There we have it. Jesus experienced affliction and torment during his three days and nights in the heart of the earth. And let us not forget that: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isa 53:6) So, we can see that Jesus took the sins of us all upon himself. Therefore, this should show us how much he had to suffer on our behalf as well.


KEY PASSAGES CONCERNING JESUS IN HELL

 

  • God raised Jesus from the “pains of death.” For Peter, while addressing the crowds in Acts chapter 2 said: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (Acts 2:22-24)
  • Jesus rejoices that the Father didn’t leave his soul in hell. For Peter goes on to quote David saying: "For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. ... He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses." (Acts 2:25-27, 31- 32)


A PROMISE TO A DYING THIEF

Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)


This passage above poses a few problems for us because in most translations, it appears as if Jesus was promising the repentant thief that they would be together in paradise that day. But we also know that Jesus said he had to spend three days and nights in hell as well. So, how do we make sense of all this? Well, let’s first keep in mind that there were no comas in the Greek, so the translators had the option to place them where they wanted. So, for this passage quoted above, the translators of the King James Bible chose to put the coma before the word “today.” However, we have other bibles where the translators chose to place the coma after the word “today.” Thus, this same passage above would read: “Truly I say to you today: you will be with me in paradise.” This makes more sense because now we have Jesus not promising the thief that they would be together that literal day, but at some point in the future.


Now, even though placing a coma may for the most part be just a minor thing, in this case however it becomes a major one when it comes to understanding this passage above. And just to make it clear, I do believe that the King James version is one of the most accurate translations that we have. However, I myself and some others do believe the coma should come after the word today and not before. But all this being said, we can rest assured that the bibles we have today are accurate and true enough to bring us all to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. For with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can sort out all things, even when it comes to something as simple as a coma placement.


Below are listed some of those translations that chose to place the coma after today. Of course there are more than what’s listed below, but these I’ve listed because they are in my library of books.


  • The first is from the Aramaic English New Testament which reads - “Truly I say to you today: you will be with me in paradise.” 
  • The next translation is from the Concordant Literal New Testament which reads - “Verily, to you am I saying today, with me shall you be in paradise.” 
  • The last translation is from the Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible which reads, “Verily I say unto thee this day: with me shalt thou be with me in paradise.” 


So, we can see that all three of these translations move the coma after the word “today." Therefore, the word “today” that Jesus used was only to emphasis his promise to the thief that at some point in the future, they would be together. Which I’m sure made that repentant thief very happy even though it wasn’t that literal day.

 

Below are Other Passages FOUND in the KING JAMES bible which use the word “today” to help emphasis what’s being said:


  • I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:18) 
  • Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (Acts 20:26) 

 

It is Finished

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)

 

According to that passage above, what was it that Jesus finished. Was our forgiveness for sins as well as our redemption totally completed at that moment? For we must remember that Jesus said "It is finished" before he died and rose from the dead. And let’s consider what the word of God says, for we read: “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25) And in the letter to the Corinthians we read: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” (1 Corinthians 15:15-18) So, Christ’s death and resurrection is crucial for our redemption. And wouldn’t it make more sense for Jesus to say, “it is finished” after his death and resurrection if our redemption was in mind.


Now, let’s examine another passage which may help us to understand what Jesus meant when He said "It is finished." “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word." (John 17:3-6) So, we see that Jesus came to reveal himself and the Father, as well as his plan of salvation for us. Which we know was accomplished through his death and resurrection.


FATHER, INTO YOUR HANDS

Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.' " Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23:46)

 

From what we can see from this passage above, Jesus totally trusted his heavenly Father with his own life. This he did knowing that the Father would not leave his soul in hell as stated before when He said: “I foresaw the Lord always before my face; for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue exulted; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Psalm 16:8-10)

 

So, Jesus trusted the Father that he would deliver his soul from hell after the three days and nights were accomplished. Therefore, this passage has nothing to do with Jesus going to the Father immediately after his death.


JUST HANGING OUT WITH THE SAINTS?

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40)


Now, we must not come to the wrong conclusion and believe that Jesus went inside the earth in a place called "Abrahams Bosom” for three days and nights (Luke 16:22) For if we examine the scriptures, we would find that this is not true. And, if Jesus was just hanging-out with the saints in such a place, (some, who would have been there for more than a few thousand years), why was he so glad to get out of there as quoted earlier? Let's remember while praying in agony Jesus said: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39) So, wouldn’t this agonizing prayer be not only for the cross, but over his three days and nights in hell as well? I do believe so.


SO, WHERE IS PARADISE?

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’ (Revelation 2:7)


Now, let’s deal with the word “paradise” which Jesus mentioned to the thief and see where it is. First, we can see from the passaged quoted above, the paradise of God is where the tree of life is. And where is the tree of life? Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve [kinds of] fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1-2)

 

Also, we have Paul's own testimony when he said, "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) So, according to the word of God, paradise is up in heaven and not in some abode inside the earth.


WHERE IS ABRAHAM AND THE SAINTS?

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)


Now, you may be asking, where is Abraham and all the Saint of God who have died. Well, to find that out, we must look closely to what was quoted above. First, we should notice that it says we’re surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses? And next, it says those witnesses are they who have died in faith as Abraham did. So, according to God’s word, it sounds like they are quite alive and we’re surrounded by them as well. We can see this also to be true from what we read about the rich man and Lazarus. For after he died, the rich man was conscious of his surroundings, feeling the torments of hell while Lazarus who also had died, was being comforted in the arms of Abraham who was quite alive himself. And let's also remember that Moses and Elisha appeared before Peter, James and John when Jesus was transfigured before them. So, even though a person’s body may be buried in the ground, their soul would be still alive. This would be true whether one is in the realm of the saints, or being tormented in the flames of hell. (Matthew 17:1-4)


Now, all this should be proof that they're not stuck underground somewhere in a so called “Abrahams Bosom.” (Luke 16:22) And last but not least, let’s remember what Jesus said to those religious rulers who were challenging him concerning the afterlife. For he said: “But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31-32)


Further reading concerning this:


  • And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. (Mark 13:27)
  • That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (Ephesians 1:10-12)
  • That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11).
  • To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:13) 
  • 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: 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. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) 
  • But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)


THE RICH-MAN AND LAZARUS

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (Luke 16:22-23)


Now, you may be saying, “didn't the rich man in hell talk to Abraham afar off.” Well, yes he did, but this is not proof that there is a chamber called Abrahams Bosom inside the earth. For there’s are a few problems with this. The first is the fact that the rich man has never seen Abraham before. So, how could he have recognized him far off in the distance among a huge mass of people. That would be like you sitting in a packed stadium and recognizing a well known radio host all the way on the other side whom you never seen nor heard before; and then on top of that, being able to talking with him as well amongst the noise of the crowds.

 

So, on the contrary, wouldn’t this be a vision of some sort, just as it was with Stephen who was looking up and seeing Jesus standing on the right hand of God. (Acts 7:55-56) So, that great gulf fixed between the rich man and Lazarus could have been simply the distance between hell beneath the earth, and the Saintly realm of the dead above it.


What about the Atonement?

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)


So, am I saying that our atonement for sin wasn’t accomplished when Jesus shed his blood on the cross? Not at all, for his word says above as well as below:


  • But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
  • But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)
  • 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? (Hebrews 9:14)
  • Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2) 
  • Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:18-19)
  • And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5)


SO WHY HELL? 

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)


So, why would Jesus spend three days and nights in affliction if his blood already atoned for all sin? Well, that’s because hell is the temporary abode for all who have died in their sins. (Luke ch.16) So, even though Christ's blood atones for our sins, he still had to suffer the wrath of God that was do for all sinners, which was hell itself. And let's remember that God is not a respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34) So, because our Savior Jesus died a sinner’s death, he had to also suffer a sinner’s death: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)


Now we must realize that the cross is a visible form of punishment brought on by man against those who violate the laws of man (which ideally should only coincide with God's laws). So, in a sense, it’s man's wrath and displeasure against those who are a threat to the good of society. On the other hand, hell is the wrath of God against those who violated his laws and standards. So, because Jesus was viewed as a false prophet and teacher by the religious rulers, they put him to death according to the commandment of the law. (Zechariah 13:3-7) But again, because Jesus became sin for us, he had to suffer God's wrath which was hell.


JESUS, OUR PERFECT SACRIFICE 

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Leviticus 17:11)


According to that verse above, all sacrifices had to be done according to procedure which was written in the law. For not only was the blood of the lamb to be shed and applied for the remission of sins, but the lamb also had to go through the fire. One was not to be done without the other. And if by chance a step was missed or neglected, would God even regard it? God said: "And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” (Exodus 12:8)


So, even though the blood of the lamb was the atonement for their sins, they still had to partake of its flesh which went through the flames of fire as well. So likewise, Christ blood does atone for our sins, but we also have to partake of him by receiving him in our hearts. And this could only have fully come about after all he did for us, not only by suffering on the cross, but enduring the flames of hell as well. Thus, we see Christ truly as a lamb that was slain.


Something to think about: (Just as the priests in times past were laying their sins as well as the sins of the peoples on the sacrificial animals, so they were sacrificing Christ who knew no sin to atone for the sins of many. Of course, they knew not what they were doing as Jesus said in Luke 23:34) 


GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD

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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)


But by the power of our God, Jesus was raised from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. For our God wants all to be saved just as his word says: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) And this is also true in the Old Testament where we read: “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?” This is so true. (Ezekiel 33:11)


IN CLOSING

Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. (Romans 14:1-2)

 

Not everybody is at the same level of faith when it comes to the word of God. For there are some who have just a limited knowledge of the word yet they are still saved. On the other hand, there are those who have a much deeper knowledge of the word and are saved as well. But all that being said, let's remember what Paul the apostle said to the Corinthian believers: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

 

So, I hope that this would stimulate a desire for you to dig deeper into God’s word. (2 Timothy 2:15) For it should be our desire to truly recognize and see everything that God did for us sinner. “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17) So, let us always be "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2) Amen.


  • I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
  • He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3-5) 


YouTube Web Links on this Subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Eg2pee1knE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kz3QHPEzPvw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfIvwiPFNos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaUUE7lGYrM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VbaqyPVx_0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpGcSstT0iQ



A FEW WORDS TO THE READER

I know that there may be some of you who don't agree on all what’s being said here. But please understand that my intent is to show you from God's word how much Jesus truly suffered for us all. So that being said, I ask that you would pray and seek God on all that’s being presented here. And my prayer for you is that you would come away with a better understand of the price that God paid for our sins.


However, we all can surly agree that, Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross, was buried in a tomb and on the third day he rose from the dead and is seated on the right hand of God making intercession for us. This God did in order for all men to be saved. Amen (John 3:16-17, Romans 8:34)