“Oh That My People Would Listen to Me”

The psalmist cries out on God’s behalf, “Oh that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways,” in Psalm 81:13.

We are all God’s people, but do we listen to Him?  He is speaking to us.  He is speaking to us of righteousness and peace.  He is speaking to us about how to live in a loving way toward everyone around us.

If we listen to the Lord and obey Him then we are part of the true Israel (the one true church).

Don’t have a hardened heart (Hebrews 3:15); listen to the Son of God (Mark 9:7).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Lord Knows Those Who Are His

2 Timothy 2:19 says that the Lord “knows those who are His.”  We know that all people are His, but we also know that some hearts are more given to Him than others.  Think therefore of 2 Chronicles 16:9 which says that “The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the whole earth that He may find those whose hearts are fully His.”

Thus the Lord knows those who whose hearts are completely His.

This decision to give your heart to Him is not one that you make and then brag about the rest of your life.  It is a decision you must continue to make every hour and every day.  Did you live for Him yesterday?  Good!  But that will not help you if you do not live for Him today (see Ezekiel 18, especially verse 24).  Keep yourself in love with God.

What a wonderful thing that you could be found in this state by Him!  There is glory in knowing God (Jeremiah 9:23-24), but there is also glory in being known by God (Galatians 4:9).

Stay determined to be someone that the Lord knows as completely His.

(How to Be in the One True Church)

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Will You Volunteer to Live In Jerusalem?

Recent posts have described true Israel (Peace and Mercy Be upon the Israel of GodWho Is a Jew?, and True Israel Is Comprised of the Pure in Heart).  Assuming you aspire to be a part of this, are you also willing to volunteer to live in Jerusalem?  This phrase – “volunteer to live in Jerusalem” – is taken from Nehemiah 11:2 and refers to a time when living in Jerusalem (the capital city of Israel) was not a safe thing to do.  In the spirit, this is certainly true today.  Indeed, the apostle Paul promises that “all who desire live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Nevertheless, Psalm 110 says that the Lord’s true people will “volunteer freely” in the day of His power (Psalm 110:3).  Be like the sons of Levi who gathered at the call (Exodus 32:26).  Jerusalem is the place where the holy live; it once was in heaven but has come down to earth (Hebrews 12:22-24; Revelation 21:2).

If you want to volunteer, to whom will you make that known?  There is only one.  Go to Jesus.  He will enlist you in His army (Revelation 17:14).  And when He does, be sure to seek to please only Him (2 Timothy 2:3-4).

Love righteousness and hate lawlessness (Hebrews 1:9; Psalms 45:7), and so prove to be one who has volunteered to live in Jerusalem.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

True Israel Is Comprised of the Pure in Heart

By the parallelism of Hebrew poetry, Psalm 73:1 equates Israel with the pure in heart.  This speaks not to an Israel of the flesh but to an “Israel of God.”

Jesus said that the pure in heart would see God (Matthew 5:8), and surely these “Israelites” see their King, for they endure as seeing Him who is unseen (Hebrews 11:27).

The Scriptures foresee a glorious Israel that reflects the glory of its covenant God.  This Israel exists today – it is the pure in heart…and they love Jesus above all else.  The Lord knows them (2 Timothy 3:19), but the world does not (1 John 3:1).

Be a part of this Israel; that is, be a part of the one true church.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Are You Willing to Endure Ill-Treatment with the People of God?

Hebrews 11:25 says that Moses chose to endure ill-treatment with the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.  Are you willing to make the same choice?

Who are the people of God? Of course, all people are the people of God, for He made us all and redeemed us all.  Beyond this, however, there are those people who truly choose in this life to be of God.   2 Timothy 3:12 says that everyone who desires to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.  This is the “ill-treatment” that goes with being “of God.”

Will you be of God?  Will you love what is right?

Jesus Christ is looking for those who will walk with Him in faith and always seek to do that which is right in His eyes (Galatians 1:10; Revelation 17:14; 2 Chronicles 16:9).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Who Is a Jew?

Who is a Jew?  The apostle Paul answered this question in Romans 2:28-29.  He said it was not an outward condition; that is, it was not a matter of tracing one’s physical ancestry to Abraham.  Neither is it a matter of church membership (Church is not the answer).  Rather it is a condition of the heart.

A Jew is one who practices the presence of God, who lives for he approval of God rather than the approval of humanity.

Be a Jew.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Peace and Mercy Be upon the Israel of God

Paul pronounced this blessing in Galatians 6:16:  “Peace and mercy be upon the Israel of God.”

Who is the Israel of God?

Is it the nation that is currently situated between Egypt and Jordan?  No.

Is it totality of all the churches that claim to represent Jesus today?  No.

The Israel of God are those who walk according to a new creation (Galatians 6:15) – that is, those who walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.

If you want to be in the true church, leave the church of the flesh and join the church of the spirit.  It is the only place you will find the fullness of God’s peace and mercy.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Why Ignore Names Jesus Was Given to Call Him a Name He Was Not Given?

Why do people pay attention to a name Jesus was never given by the prophets and the apostles (i.e. the “Trinity”), and consequently ignore the names He was given?  For example, in the well-known prophecy of Jesus by Isaiah (Isaiah 9:6-7) Jesus is called “Wonderful Counselor” and “Prince of Peace.”  In the same sentence He is also called “Mighty God” and “Eternal Father.”  Why then do people say that some person other than Jesus is “God” and “Father” to us?

The Trinity doctrine is therefore false and anti-biblical because it says some person besides Jesus is the “Mighty God” and “Eternal Father.”  People are ignoring names the Scriptures have given Jesus in order to call Him names that the Scriptures have not given Him.  Nowhere in the Scriptures does the name “trinity” appear – and thus it is never applied to Jesus, nor is Jesus ever said to be a part of it.

I ask again, why do people glorify a name God never gave Himself and ignore names that He did give Himself?

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Significance of His Name Is Not Immediately Realized

When John the Baptist first called Jesus “the Son of God,” or when the Roman centurion saw the way Jesus breathed His last and spoke of Him similarly, could they have – in those respective moments – fully realized the majesty of His being?  Did they have in mind what Paul did when he said that Psalm 2:7 was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 13:33; confirmed by Romans 1:4)?  It is hard to imagine that they did.  Even Paul was still growing in his knowledge of Him who rose from the dead even while he was writing (Philippians 3:10).  The “Son of God” as a title applied to Jesus is full of additional meaning still awaiting our discovery.  There is much more to His name than we initially realize.

When the disciples first called Jesus “Lord” as a matter of respect, could they have fully understood that He would ultimately be Lord over every being and entity in the world?  That is, God would relinquish His lordship over heaven and earth, giving it to His Son Jesus (Acts 2:34-36; Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1:2).  It was one thing to call Jesus Lord when He was walking the dusty roads of 1st century Palestine; it’s another thing entirely when He’s been raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God!  And then there was His coming in glory to judge the heavens and the earth.  We know from the book of Acts that the apostles themselves did not even understand Jesus’ lordship over the Gentiles until well after His ascension into heaven.

Jesus Himself pointed out in Luke 6:46 that we can be dull to the meaning of a name we give Him.  If it’s true of “Lord,” it’s true of “the Son of God” and every other name that the Scriptures give Him.  Let us not be sluggish, but rather pay attention to Him about whom we still have so much to learn!  (Hebrews 5:11)

Because others in times past did not pay sufficient attention to Him who died for us, false ideas, such as the Trinity arose.  Do not be turned away from seeking the Lord Jesus Christ.  In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:2-3).

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Trinity Is a Demotion of Christ

Over the centuries there have been many challenges to to the deity of Christ.  Often, the Trinity is offered as an argument for the deity of Christ.  Although Christ is divine and we should welcome that idea, the concept of the Trinity actually demotes Christ even while it acknowledges His divinity.

Christ is our God.  In Jesus of Nazareth, God took upon Himself human flesh and lived like one of us.  Although He was God, He did not live as God.  He did not partake of the privileges of God.  Rather, He lived with all the limitations that you and I face.  Once He was crucified and raised from the dead, however, He began the return to His former state.  In His Second Coming, He was restored to the fullness of the glory that He’d had before His human experience.

To say that Christ is part of a Trinity – and only the second part of it at that, is to miss the greatness of God.  God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19).  Jesus is the Lord, whom we are to love (1 Corinthians 16:22).  As someone had said, He is either Lord of all…or He is not Lord at all.

Do not demote Christ – exalt Him!  If you do, He will exalt you (James 4:10; Psalm 34:3).

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

“The Inheritance Will Be Ours!”

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke record a parable about a vineyard that Jesus told in the last week of His life (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19).

In this parable, a landowner plants a vineyard, fortifies it, leaves vine-growers in charge, and then goes away on a journey.  At harvest time the landowner sends servants to collect his harvest but the vine-growers reject and mistreat them.  The landowner sends more servants but the same thing happens to them.  Finally, the landowner sends his son but the vine-growers don’t even respect him.  In fact, the vine-growers say to themselves, “Let us kill this son for then the inheritance will be ours.”

Today’s church preachers tell this parable against the Pharisees (that is, against the spiritual leaders of ancient Israel), missing entirely its application to church leadership.  Jesus was warning of the apostasy of the church that would come just before His return (2 Thessalonians 2:3).

Today’s church leaders think that “the inheritance is ours.”  That is, they think that the church has been given to them.  However, Jesus came for His church like a thief in the night and erring church leaders never saw it.  If they had, they would have yielded to the kingdom of God and handed over all the sheep to the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4).

The church belongs to Christ and only those who live for Christ day by day truly belong to it.  This is the kingdom of God.  That is, the true church of God is the kingdom of God.  That’s why it’s called the kingdom of God: it’s of God.  It’s not of man.

Today’s true church lives by this creed: “The inheritance is His!”

See also How to Be in the One True Church.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

When the Chief Shepherd Appears

When the Chief Shepherd appears (1 Peter 5:4), what need do we have of any other shepherds?

Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself” (John 14:3).  If He receives us to Himself, what need do we have to be received by each other?

Jesus has kept His promise to return.  Therefore, we should turn to Him without need of an intermediary.

If you want to be rightly related to Him, trust in Him alone.  Do not look to any other human being as your means of reaching Him (Matthew 23:8-10).

His sheep hear His voice.  Are you His sheep – or someone else’s?

The Lord has bought you with a price; do not be spiritually enslaved to human beings.

Since the Chief Shepherd has appeared, let us follow Him.  And Him alone.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Church of the Living God

At one point in his first letter to Timothy (i.e., 1 Timothy 3:15), the apostle Paul stated that he wrote in order to make sure that Timothy “knew how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (NASB)

In Paul’s day, the church was waiting upon the promised returned of Jesus (“the chief Shepherd” as Peter called Him in 1 Peter 5:4).  Therefore, there were apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers set apart to oversee the church until the fulfillment of that promise.  That promise, like all God’s promises, was fulfilled in the time promised which means that Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again.  The need for human overseers of Christ’s church ceased at that point.

Therefore, we may contrast the churches we see today with “the church of the living God.”  The churches we see today are not “of the living God.”  They are of the flesh (see Jeremiah 17:5-8).  The church of the living God has an invisible pastor: the Lord Jesus Christ.  All other churches have a visible (or “of the flesh”) pastor (or pope, or overseer, or bishop, or whatever title you want to insert).

Do you want to be a part of the church of the living God?  Look to Jesus!  (Hebrews 11:27; 12:1-2).  He will give you direction, comfort, and counsel.  He will also give you rebuke, admonition, and chastisement as is appropriate for a loving parent to give his or her child.

How do you conduct yourself in this church of the living God?  You do everything to please Jesus.  You remember the life He lived and you try to follow that example as closely as you can.  You serve those who are weaker than you are.  When you are slapped on the cheek, you turn the other.  When you are cursed, you bless in return.

This church does not take up an offering, for you are constantly offering yourself and the life you live as your sacrifice to Him.

This church exists in the midst of the world so that you are like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego – flourishing in the midst of a fire, not even getting the smell of smoke on your clothes (Daniel 3).

Be a true servant of God in the true church of God.  Be done with lesser things.

For more, see: How to Be in the One True Church.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

God Kept Us Safely in the Cleft of the Rock When He Was Passing By

Instead of proclaiming that God is a Trinity, we should be proclaiming that Messiah is God.

That’s right – Christ is God.

We didn’t know it at the time He was on earth.  It was not even explicitly proclaimed in the New Testament.  But it was nonetheless true as we can now see in retrospect.

The New Testament Is a Riddle to Which the Old Testament Is the Answer and We Were in the Cleft of the Rock are two posts which identify Exodus 33 as foreshadowing the time when God would live in our midst.  We did not know at the time that He was God; we were not supposed to know.  But looking back, we can now acknowledge who He was.

Worship Christ who was God living among us.  It was not one-third of Him living among us – it was all of Him in bodily form (Colossians 2:9).  That’s why we had to be hid in the cleft of the rock.  However, it’s okay to come out now.  And worship Him!

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Trinity Shell Game

You’ve probably seen the carnival game where the performer has three shells on a table and under one of them He places a pea.  Then he moves the three shells around in rapid fashion so that those who are watching lose track of which shell has the pea.  It’s a sleight-of-hand trick that’s been around for ages.

Church leaders, in effect, say that God is playing a shell game with us regarding Himself, but that they have figured out the game – and their answer is that there are three peas, one under each shell!  It’s not a very satisfying conclusion to the game, but then there’s nothing very satisfying about the trinity concept.  It’s more a way of obfuscating God than it is a way of explaining Him.

The truth is simple and straightforward.  God spoke of Messiah throughout Old Testament times.  By New Testament times, Jews were very expectant that Messiah was about to make His appearance.  Unbeknownst to anyone, God Himself came to earth to be that Messiah.  After He was raised from the dead and taken up into heaven, He waited until the day He would be revealed as God.  That was the day of the Lord (Jesus Christ Has Already Come Again).  On that day Messiah was revealed to have been God Himself!

Since we live in that eternal day of the Lord, it is losg past time that we should recognize that Jesus Christ is eternally Lord of all.  He is our God and He is our Father.  He was before…and now He always will be.

God does not play games with us.  He tells us the truth.  Until He reveals truth about Himself, it remains a mystery.  Once He has made Himself known, however, the truth shines forth clearly.  Follow Christ…and you will find God.

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Shema Is a Terrible Foundation for the Trinity

The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4) was ancient Israel’s most common refrain.  Even today, Jews around the world utter daily, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”

If the Trinity were true, surely God would have altered this national motto just a tad – it leaves so little room for misunderstanding as it’s written.

Proponents of the Trinity try to get around the Shema by saying that God is one being, but consists in three persons.  This is the logical equivalent of saying “We don’t know whether your house is white or black, so we’re going to say it’s white and black.”  That concept will only work for people who are willing to accept that white and black are the same color.  In point of fact, most people consider the Trinity incomprehensible but just don’t have the energy to fight the church hierarchy which supports it.

If you want to walk with God, forget church and forget the Trinity.  Pursue Christ!  God laid just the foundation in the Shema that He wanted to lay.  God is one.  Christ was God become man.  Since His resurrection and ascension, this man has become God once again.  He reigns, now and forevermore.  Worship and serve Him only!

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

As Saul Tired of Waiting for Samuel, So the Post-Apostolic Church LeadersTired of Waiting on Jesus

An earlier post described how the church leaders after the apostles resembled Saul in his impatience regarding Samuel’s coming.  One of the results of this impatience is that we were presented with the Trinity as an explanation of God.

Think about it.  God decides to explain Himself to us by coming to earth and living as Jesus of Nazareth.  Of course, this was no common life and it ended in awful rejection and dreadful suffering.  Yet He was raised from the dead, and the rejection and suffering were according to His plan so that He might fully demonstrate the depths of God’s love.  Oh how glorious is our Creator’s explanation of Himself!  Then church leaders come along after the apostles and say, “No, we have a better idea:  we’re going to explain God: He’s a trinity which means He’s one but He’s three but He’s one but…”

Saul should not have offered the sacrifice Himself; He should have waited for Samuel.  Similarly, those who try to explain God as a trinity would have done better to trust the Lord to come and explain Himself further…in our hearts.  Instead, they gave us the foolish babbling of human wisdom.  And it has distracted us from Christ ever since.

Christ is Lord!  Let us serve Him with a united heart and a single focus.

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Israel Made a Golden Calf to Worship; the Church Made a Trinity to Worship

As the Israelites grew restless waiting for Moses to return from the mountain so post-apostolic church grew restless waiting for Jesus to return from heaven.  For more on this comparison, see this earlier post.

The Trinity doctrine is just as man-made as was the golden calf fashioned by Aaron.  Neither represents the true God.  The latter portrays Him as physical, which He’s not; the former portrays Him as a contradiction in terms (He’s three; He’s one), which He’s not.

Mischief is the result when we tire of waiting on God.  God is faithful.  If Aaron had trusted and waited, he could have spared the Israelites from the judgment they brought on themselves.

The idols in biblical times were physical images (like a calf or a bird).  The idols of our age are intellectual concepts.  One is as treacherous as the other.

Worship Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  And have no idols before Him.  (Even if it’s a commonly accepted one like the Trinity.)

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

“The Apostles’ Teaching” Is the Lord’s Teaching

Acts 2:42 says that those who believed in the message of the resurrected Christ were continually devoting themselves to “the apostles’ teaching.”

Where did the apostles get their teaching?  They got it from the Lord.  They had spent the previous three years living with Him as He conducted His itinerant ministry in and around Galilee.  But they received His teaching with a much finer point during the forty days between His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven.

Luke 24 (especially verses 25-27 and verses 44-48) tells how Jesus opened the Scriptures to the apostles by showing how the Scriptures from beginning to end referred to Him.

We see this strikingly in the opening chapters of Acts where Peter quotes confidently from Joel (Acts 2:16-21) and the Psalms (Acts 2:25-28; 34-36).  There can be little doubt that the Lord Himself had pointed out to Peter how these passages, as well as many others, spoke of the resurrected Messiah.

As is true for the opening chapters of Acts, it is true for the entirety of the New Testament: the apostles’ teaching is the Lord’s teaching.  What the apostles teach us about the Lord is what He wanted them to teach us.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Trinity Appeals to Talkers, Not Doers

The Trinity concept has strong appeal for those who want to merely talk about God.  The Trinity concepts allows for philosophizing, intellectualizing, pontificating, and all sorts of verbal and mental gymnastics.  However, for the person who is interested in obeying God, it holds little appeal.  That’s because the person who wants to obey God is simply asking, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”

Therefore, if you’d prefer to be a “hearer of the word only” (James 1:22-25) study the Trinity.  It will keep you so busy in your head you won’t have to worry about actually doing God’s will.  On the other hand, if you want to be a doer of God’s word, pay attention to the Lord (Trinitarians call Him “the second person of the Trinity,” but for you He will be the first person in your heart).

The prophet Isaiah was not a Trinitarian (nor were any who wrote the Scriptures) for he said, “The Lord alone will be exalted on that day” (Isaiah 2:11, 17).  Trinitarians have to scratch their heads and wonder what day it is that only the second person of the Trinity is exalted.

There is no “triune godhead” – there is only the Lord (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5).  Worship and serve Him with all your heart.

Let us be done with philosophies of men and instead do the will of the Lord.

For more, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Christ Died to the Law That He Might Live to Give Us Grace

Christ died and rose to live again that He might become Lord of both the dead and the living (Romans 14:9).

Messiah was born and lived under the Law (Galatians 4:4-5).  Having fulfilled the Law, He was raised from the dead and seated at the right hand of God where all power in heaven and earth was vested in Him (Matthew 28:18).

It was at this moment that Messiah (i.e. Christ) was declared Lord (Acts 2:34-36).  The sufferings of Christ had been fulfilled and this marked the beginning of Christ’s glories (Luke 24:26; 2 Peter 1:10-11).

In this inauguration of glory, Christ poured out the riches of His grace upon us (Ephesians 1:7; 2:7; 3:8).  Or, as the apostle John would write, “grace upon grace” (John 1:16).  Hence it is called a “throne of grace” where we may receive mercy and find grace to help in a time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Prior to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, God the Father had been Lord and such grace was unavailable to us (Galatians 3:23).  Let us not underestimate the significance of the moment when Psalm 110:1 was fulfilled (Acts 2:34-36).  Prior to that moment, only Christ had seen all the riches of grace in the Scriptures.  After that moment, those riches became available to all through Christ.  And there will be no end to their availability.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

As David was to Solomon, so God the Father is to Jesus our Lord

David was the King of Israel who wanted to build a house for the Lord but couldn’t because he had been a man of bloodshed (1 Chronicles 22).  That task, therefore, fell to David’s son Solomon – whose name means “peace” (from the same root as “Shalom”).

Similarly, the God of Israel – being involved in many wars for their sake – left it to His Son – who is called the Prince of Peace – to build the eternal house of the Lord.

Even though Solomon would build the temple, David made provision for all the building before he died so that Solomon was able to build with the materials, workers, and plans that David had provided (1 Chronicles 22:14-19; 28:11-18).

Similarly, the God of Israel had made complete provision for all that Jesus the Son would do and teach.  Jesus did not need a new set of Scriptures; He did not have to write His own.  He taught using the Scriptures of the prophets, but did so with their fulfillment in mind (Romans 16:25-27).  He taught the Scriptures according to the spirit, according to grace, according to Himself as Lord (Luke 24:25-27, 31-32, 44-48).

One key difference, however, in this analogy is that David and Solomon were two different people, but God the Father became Jesus our Lord.

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The God of the Past and the God of the Future

God the Father administered the temporary covenant (Hebrews 8:13), which was of the flesh.  Jesus the Son administers the eternal covenant (Hebrews 13:20-21), which is of the spirit.

God the Father formed the nation Israel from the descendants of a single man (Abraham).  Jesus the Son ruled over the church (those who had the faith of Abraham) during New Testament times, and rules over all humanity ever since (because the kingdom of God has come).

God the Father is therefore God of the past and Jesus Christ our Lord is God of the future.  At least this is how they were presented in the New Testament.  Of course, the Son’s authority and power were due to the Father who had given them to Him.  God the Father even raised Jesus from the dead – a fact to which the New Testament repeatedly testifies.  We today, however, no longer live at the nexus of two ages.  We are well into the eternal age, the eternal kingdom of God, the everlasting dominion which the Son was given.  (The kingdom of God came at the end of the New Testament age.)

The New Testament’s God of the future is the God of our present.  Our eternal present.  He is Jesus Christ our Lord.  He is our Father now.  He  and the God of the Old Testament are one and the same God.  The God of the past and the God of the future are one and the same.  Let us worship Him!

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

God’s Genealogy

We see genealogies in the Bible.  There are many of them.  Some are quite long.

The genealogy of God, however, is quite short.  Here it is: The Father begat the Son (Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5).  That this genealogy should be short is confirmed by scriptures that make clear Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9).

The Son is heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2) – including our allegiance.

Through the Father we received law; through the Son we received grace.  And the Son’s kingdom shall never end (Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 7:13-14).

Should you serve the Father or the Son?  The Father says you should serve the Son (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7).  The Son says you should serve the Son (John 12:26).

Serve the Son (Colossians 3:24).

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Generations of God

There was the Father.  And then there was the Son.  Thus we have two generations of God.  We are accustomed to generations of humans, but we are not accustomed to generations of God.  Fortunately for our understanding, there are only two generations of God: the Father and the Son.

To further reduce our confusion, the Father instructs that all our devotion should be given to the Son (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7).  In fact, the Father is so committed to this position that “everyone who has the Son has the Father, and anyone who denies the Son will be without the Father” (1 John 2:23; 5:11-13).

There is no warrant to be equally devoted to the Father and the Son.  The Father commanded that we be devoted to the Son.  Jesus Himself said that no one can serve two masters.  The Father has made clear that Jesus is the Master to whom we should kneel (Philippians 2:9-11).  Serve the Lord.  His name is Jesus (Acts 2:34-36).

Do homage to the Son (Psalm 2:12; John 3:35-36).  This is the Father’s will.

The Father’s children were children of law, children of flesh, children of earth.  The Son’s children are children of grace, children of spirit, children of heaven.

Do not worry about the Father.  Seek the Son and you will find the Father (John 14:9; 2 John 1:9; Isaiah 9:6-7).

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Contrast Between Law and Grace Is the Contrast Between the Father and the Son

The Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).  (Yesterday’s post elaborated on this idea.)

God the Father gave the Law through Moses.  While the nations were permitted to go their own ways (Acts 14:16), He called the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to a life obedient to the Law of Moses.  At the proper time, God the Father sent forth His Son to redeem Abraham’s descendants (Galatians 4:4-5).  His Son, however, also became a Redeemer to the whole world by calling all nations to repentance (Acts 26:20).  The Son is the Savior of the world (John 4:42; 1 John 4:14).

God the Father is associated with the Law of Moses which was for the Jews.  Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, is associated with grace – the grace that comes to all humanity through the lordship of Christ.

For this reason, though Saul of Tarsus had been a Hebrew of Hebrews he became a devoted follower of Messiah – Christ Jesus our Lord (Philippians 3:2-11).

God the Father administered the Law that had been given through Moses.  This administration passed away that the whole world might be governed by an administration of faith in the Son of God, Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 1:4).

This doesn’t mean that God is a trinity.  There is only one God.  It means that God the Father became the Son of God.  Therefore, let us worship the Son of God with a wholly devoted heart.  As the Father, He gave the law of Moses; as the Son, He gives us grace.

To learn more about Christ versus the Trinity, see:

There Is No Trinity; There Is Christ

Posts to Date on the Trinity Versus Christ

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Contrast Between Law and Grace

The New Testament paints a contrast between law and grace.  This is not, as many suppose, a contrast between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Neither is it a contrast between law and no law (i.e. lawlessness).  Nor is it a contrast between justice and mercy.  It certainly is not a contrast between lawfulness and licentiousness.

What then is the proper biblical contrast between law and grace?  It is a contrast between what Moses commanded according to the flesh and what Jesus commands according to the spirit.  More specifically, it is a contrast between reading what we call the Old Testament with a fleshly orientation and reading it with a spiritual orientation (i.e. with Jesus as Lord instead of God the Father).  The two (law of Moses versus grace of Christ) are very different ways of reading the same Scriptures.  The fleshly understanding was a temporary one until the spiritual and permanent understanding came through Jesus Christ.

For this reason, John could write that the law was given through Moses but that grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ (John 1:17) – and that through Jesus we have received grace upon grace (John 1:16).

For this reason, Peter could say that the law had been “a yoke no one could bear” but that the grace of the Lord Jesus had redeeming power (Acts 15:10-11).  Jesus was thus offering a new and different yoke (Matthew 11:28-30).

For this reason, Jesus could say that He did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-19).  That is, Jesus came to make known its meaning of grace which had been hidden prior to His time (Galatians 3:23).

For this reason, Jesus could say that those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness would find it (Matthew 5:6) though Paul explained that this righteousness would have to be found in grace not in law – otherwise Christ’s death was needless (Galatians 2:21).

It is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to the position of “Lord” (Acts 2:34-36) which brought to light the grace that was resident but hidden in the Old Testament scriptures (2 Timothy 1:8-10).  Therefore, it is Jesus Himself who accounts for the distinction between law and grace.

It is this distinction between law and grace that gives Gentiles equal access to God.  Under law, only the physical descendants of Abraham were subject to the law’s commands and beneficiaries of its promises.  Under grace, all humanity is subject to the law of Christ (which is to love) and qualified to benefit from the promises of God.  This is the kingdom of God.

Occasions where “law” and “grace” are mentioned in the same verse (which highlight the contrast):

  • John 1:17
  • Romans 4:16; 5:20; 6:14-15
  • Galatians 2:21; 5:4

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Why Did Jesus Choose Judas?

Why did Jesus choose Judas Iscariot to be among the twelve when He knew from the beginning that it would result in betrayal?  (John 6:60-71)

Surely one reason was to demonstrate and foreshadow to the eleven (and everyone else eventually) the corruption that would come into the church just before His Second Coming (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  Jesus knew this prophecy would be hard for some to believe even though He Himself had given it as a sign of the end (Matthew 24:9-13).  Therefore, the example (and close-to-home experience) of Judas Iscariot was intended to emphasize the point to the other apostles.

There is no way on earth to make a human organization free from corruption.  All kingdoms on earth can be so shaken,and for this reason God established the kingdom of God as our structure of salvation.  His is the kingdom that cannot be shaken, for God Himself (not one of us) is its administrator (Hebrews 12:28-29; Ephesians 1:10; 1 Timothy 1:4).

Therefore, seek the kingdom of God instead of church.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

When Jesus Dealt with His Friends and God Dealt with Jesus’ Enemies

Psalm 110 is referenced many times in the New Testament.  It is central to understanding the significance of Jesus being raised from the dead.  Peter makes this clear in Acts 2:34-36 when he declares that its fulfillment is what has declared Jesus to be “Lord.”

The psalm says that God will deal with Messiah’s enemies while Messiah rules over His people.  This time would continue until God had made Messiah’s enemies a footstool for His feet.  We know that time ended when Jesus Christ came again around the end of the 1st Century.  Messiah could not take His own revenge, for this is not God’s way.  Messiah therefore had to wait for the full rule of the universe until His enemies had died (“footstool for His feet” being another way of saying He would one day “walk on their graves”).  Therefore, He had to wait at God’s right hand until God had executed justice on His behalf.  During this time, Messiah dealt with His friends – the “people who volunteered freely” (Psalm 110:3).

This is why Paul could say in 1 Corinthians 5:13, “those who are outside, God judges.”  That is, those who were outside the New Testament church, God would judge.  Meanwhile, those inside the church Jesus would judge.  The church constituted His friends.  They were the ones doing what He commanded (John 15:14).

By the time of the Second Coming, the church itself had become corrupted.  This was no surprise; it was according to prophecy.  For example, Paul had said the apostasy was a sign that the end was at hand (2 Thessalonians 2:3).  John concurred (1 John 2:18).  Peter, too (2 Peter 2:1).

At Jesus’ return, He separated the sheep and goats – granting the sheep entrance into His glorious kingdom (Matthew 25; 2 Peter 1:10-11) and leaving the goats bleating outside (Matthew 25; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

From that time on, Messiah has ruled all.  The enemies He has today are members of His own household (Matthew 10:36; Micah 7:6).

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

Do You Pray to Yourself…or to God?

In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus told a parable about prayer.  In it, He illustrated how a self-righteous person is actually praying to himself rather than to God.

The way to pray to God is to be humble, which is to say, repentant.

Be a person of humility (Isaiah 66:2) and set your mind on God’s interests rather than your own (Mark 8:33; Philippians 2:21).  Only do this, however, if you wish to be heard when you pray.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

The Lord’s Prayer Is Focused Almost Entirely on God’s Interests

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4) is focused almost exclusively on God’s interests.  No wonder so many people recite its words in mindless repetition, quickly moving on to something else as soon as the “Amen” is uttered.  To take its words seriously would require genuine repentance.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.