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Calling on the name of the Lord

Calling on the Name of the Lord

Calling on the Name of the Lord

What does it mean to call on the name of the Lord? There are several Bible verses which mention this, but they are not wellCalling on the name of the Lord understood. For instance, it is common for church leaders to quote verses like:

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13).

They interpret this as saying that anyone who calls out to Jesus is saved, from the moment they confess to being his followers.

Another type of ‘calling on the name of the Lord’ which is taught by some, is where people are told to accept Christ as ‘their personal saviour.’ This is done in response to a rousing sermon, after which members of the audience are invited to come forward and declare this to the congregation. If they do, they are said to be saved.

But if we want to be saved, we need to do more than just walk down the church. We will see this as we examine what the Bible teaches.

Worshipping God

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, we are told that Abram built an altar between Bethel and Ai where he “called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8).

When Abram returned from Egypt, he returned to that place and again, “Abram called on the name of the LORD” (13:4). It was the same with his son Isaac (Genesis 26:25).

Clearly this ‘calling’ is linked with worship, perhaps in the form of prayer using God’s name, which may well be how these early faithful believers worshipped Him.

For Everyone

In the writing of the prophet of Joel we find this verse:

It shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said (Joel 2:32).

Joel was a Jewish prophet but he spoke about Jews and Gentiles calling on God’s name. When that very passage was cited by the apostle Peter, in Acts 2:21, it becomes clear that calling on God’s name requires some particular action. Peter’s audience responded by asking:

“Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37-38).

The apostle Paul makes the same assessment of what is required. As a persecuting Pharisee, he had pursued all those who called on the name of the Lord (Acts 9:14), but when he encountered the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus he was told this:

Now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:15–16).

Belief and Baptism

When Paul wrote to the believers in Rome about calling on the name of the Lord, this is how he summarised the challenge to all who want to be saved:

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).

He was thus reminding them of the teaching of Jesus:

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16).

We are saved by the grace of God, not because of the things that we do, as the apostle Paul says elsewhere:

Even when we were dead in trespasses, (He) made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Ephesians 2:5).

But we are expected to respond to the grace that God shows towards us.

Actions, Not Words

The Lord Jesus made this very clear:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21).

You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22).

So ‘calling on the name of the Lord’ is not just confessing belief; it means something deeper. It involves being baptised into the name of Jesus, and then living a new life in him and keeping him always in mind.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1–3).

This means NOT doing some things:

Put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry… But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth (v5–8).

And DOING some things: Seeking to reflect the character of God and taking the life of Jesus as our example:

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection (v12-14).

Calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, is not just claiming to follow him. It means being baptised to show our obedience and allegiance to him. It means seeking to do his will, and following his example in our own lives.

By Grahame A. Cooper


A Christian Life

Bible Teaching and Christian Life

Bible Teaching and Christian Life

There were some people living in Corinth in New Testament times who were sceptics. They did not believe in any other world than this world, they saw no evidence for any other life than this life, and out of this belief they formed this proverb:

“Let us eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.”

They lived lives which were wholly sensual and transient and that way of life arose directly out of their philosophy.

By contrast, the Bible records the lives of many people who were transformed by the things they came to believe, people like theA Christian Life apostle Paul.

He started out as someone who hated the very sound of the name of Jesus of Nazareth and was determined to persecute his followers and have them executed, if need be.

He came to understand differently, however, and became an ardent follower of the Lord Jesus, eventually being executed himself because he would not renounce his beliefs. So what is it about the teachings of the Bible that might change the way we think and thus the way we feel and act? We will look at some of the key teachings of the Bible to test this out.

The Bible Doctrine of Sin

The Bible says that Sin is lawlessness.

It is a clear departing from the will of God. It is coming to the parting of the ways and choosing the way which is wrong. When sin is defined as lawlessness the Bible means that in all this lawful world only one thing is lawless – that is Man. Every other created thing is obedient to the law which has been put upon it by God.

Upon every tulip there is the law of the tulip and when it blossoms forth in all its glory it is obedient to that law, and it does what God intended it to do and therefore gives him glory.

The same is true of every eagle – when it hovers in the sky upon its great wings and hovers over its young, it does that which is true to the law of the eagle and it gives glory to God.

Upon Man there is the law of Manhood, once perfectly revealed by the Man of Nazareth and now enjoined upon those who are made in God’s image. When men turn from that high vision of Manhood and dishonour their nature they do that which is against the law of Manhood – they commit sin and are degraded, for they give God no glory.

Sin is Lawlessness

In all this lawful universe, only man is lawless. This is Sin. It is something with which God cannot compromise.

The awful purity of God does not permit Him to regard sin as something which can be forgotten and overlooked.

It is an obstinate and painful interloper in the world.

Now suppose a person does not believe or accept the Bible doctrine of Sin. Suppose he or she is ready to accept the popular view – that it is after all merely a maladjustment, a failure of education, a lapse, not an offence against God but in some way almost a blessing in disguise. Surely, a person believing this will have his behaviour affected when he is faced with temptation. Under such circumstances and mastered by such a belief – sin becomes easy.

When someone submits to the Bible doctrine of sin, to that extent he or she is fortified against it. He fears the subtlety of sin and avoids the occasions of temptation. When he is tempted he is held back by a realisation of what sin really means.

Case Studies


JosephA good example of this is the case of Joseph being tempted in the house of Potiphar by Potiphar’s wife. She tempted him to commit adultery and I want to remind you of Joseph’s attitude  in the presence of the ruthless temptation of this frustrated woman.

He said:

“There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he (Potiphar) kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).

Joseph knew that not only was it a sin against his master Potiphar but much more it was a grievous sin against his God who had kept and nurtured him all his life. So he fled and got out. It is a splendid example of the right doctrine of sin producing in Joseph the proper and pure life in the face of evil.


King DavidWhen King David committed adultery and murder he came to repentance at last by a realisation of what Sin really was, thus he said to his God:

“Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight— that You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge” (Psalm 51:4).

The very same principle which fortified Joseph brought David to his knees In contrition. Thus we see the combined effect of Bible teaching and Christian life.

God’s Kingdom

The Bible doctrine of the Kingdom of God means the absolute transcendence of God over all the world: the fact of His government over all things and its eventual establishment on earth in place of the government of men, with Jesus Christ as its undoubted King. This is a vital doctrine for Jesus once said:

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

The first step in seeking that kingdom is to submit to its king, believe in its laws, and obey its government – and where these things exist in a person’s life, the master principle of the Kingdom of God is established.

Now therefore those who believe in the coming Kingdom of God upon the earth, at the second advent of Jesus Christ, constitute a people whose real vocation and real destiny begins in the age to come. Therefore their attitude to the present life will be regulated by that fact.

First of all, they will, or ought to be, people in whom, even now to some extent, the principles of the Kingdom of God are being realised – that is love, joy and peace. Through them the kingdom values are being manifested to those around them and by whom God’s literal kingdom and its coming is being preached among men.

They also will be people who know themselves to be pilgrims in this world, passing through it to another and a better society – the world to come on earth. Their master passion, therefore, will not be the acquisition of knowledge, the pursuit of pleasure or the accumulation of wealth. They will be looking through these external things  to the spiritual. They will hold with light hands the things of this world because they are citizens of another. They will be ready to render to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, but will be careful to render to God the things which are God’s (Mark 12:17).

Their allegiance to earthly governments has to be qualified by the fact that they have sworn allegiance to their King – ‘the King of Kings’. But they will be ready always to succour the needs and seek to alleviate the pain of their neighbours, because of the doctrine of gentleness and service which they have received by word and example from their Lord.

Now let me emphasise that this way of life arises distinctly and conspicuously out of the doctrine of the Kingdom of God, properly understood.

People do not behave in this way without some compelling reason and the reason is that the King has met them and taught them and called them to his Kingdom.

The Lord Jesus used these words to call men to his discipleship:Christ is our example

“Whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple … whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27,33).

Notice that Jesus said “cannot” – not “may not” or “it will be difficult”, but “cannot”. This is a hard teaching and there were many who turned back when they heard it. But the teaching of the King is imperative – it means that SELF and SELF-INTEREST make it impossible to be a disciple when other loves and other forces interfere and intervene and breed dissatisfaction, and cause difficulty.


The truth is that Self comes every day seeking for preference and asking to be put first. Self is a tyrant and men standing by themselves are slaves, without consent sometimes, but slaves nevertheless. A man once said:

“What I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practise; but what I hate, that I do” (Romans 7:15).

That is the overmastering power of self. It is the confession of a man deeply conscious of his appalling weakness in the presence of self.

When we see the matchless purity of the life of the King; when we see him wholly submitted to the will of God, never once subverted from the path of obedience – his purity has the effect of mocking our own impotence.

It is no good telling me that Jesus is the great example, because I have no power to match his success. I am undone at the fibre of my being. My achievements are utterly short of my aspirations. But the great truth is that we are not saved by example; Jesus is not just an exemplar, he is a redeemer, and a saviour. Through his great sacrifice we are not only freed from the penalty of sin, but at last we are freed from its power. If this is not so then there is some part of the Bible which is false.

Christ the Leader

The New Testament teaches us that Christ is the leader of those who are being saved by the power of God and that power is in the cross of Christ:

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

Notice it is “the message” – what is being preached – which has the power and that we are either “being saved” or “perishing”. And the writer to the Hebrews explains a little more when he says:

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).

A Clean Conscience

The good news is that Christ is not leading into the Kingdom a group of people who are broken failures, but men and women who have been able to escape the tyranny of self and have come, of their own volition, to serve the living God. For it is our consciousness that determines our conduct and our conduct forms our character. If my consciousness is low, my conduct will be low; if my consciousness is high, my conduct will be higher.

What regulates your consciousness?

What cleans your conscience?

What you believe and what you have faith in.

It follows that if you believe in the saving power of Christ to change your life it could happen. But if you deny it it will never happen. This is a superlative example of Bible doctrine and Christian life. The apostle Paul, who had struggled manfully against self, and had failed when he sought to succeed in his own strength, could later say:

“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

That faith is the inspiration of Christian conduct.

Christ is Risen!

The final example of how teaching affects behaviour is the vital and central doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In Luke chapter 24 we read of two people who were sauntering out of Jerusalem on the Emmaus road – they were sad, sorry and dejected. They believed that their Messiah was dead and buried whilst they had hoped to see him reign in triumph. Notice how their lives are in the past tense. They speak to the stranger who joined them in this way:

“Jesus of Nazareth … was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people … we were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:19–21).

Then the stranger they have met on the road flings back the shutters and opens to them the Scriptures, so that they feel their hearts burning within them. He gives them a new interpretation of familiar things – the old

doctrines in a new light – out of the Scriptures of truth. They realise that he – the Lord Jesus – is the Messiah risen from the dead.

They sauntered out of Jerusalem because they thought it was all over; they go back at the double because they realise it is only just beginning.

The apostle Paul in the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is uncompromising about the effect of the

resurrection of Jesus. Either he is risen from the dead, he says, and can be known, or else he is a failure and we have all been deceived.

There is no middle course. If the doctrine is false we are still in our sins, the dead in the graves are dead forever and we are found to be false witnesses and the most to be pitied.

Everything depends upon the truth of this great doctrine. For what good is a kingdom if the king is just a corpse?

How can we hope for deliverance if the deliverer is dead? How can we pray for help if the advocate is unheeding?

But when this great doctrine is believed and trusted – see what it does to those who believe. Think of the apostle Peter as an example. Before the resurrection he was fearful and craven, but now he is standing up within a stone’s throw of the empty tomb and boldly laying the blame for the King’s murder upon the rulers at Jerusalem. He cries in a voice full of brave confidence:

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

Not in Vain

Paul in prisonTwo men are in the stocks at Philippi. Their bodies are in chains and their backs torn with scourging and it is midnight – but they are singing and they are singing the song of the resurrection.

As we already recollected, the Apostle Paul met the resurrected Jesus on the Damascus road and it changed his whole life. From being once a persecutor he became one of the great heroes of the Christian faith and gave his life in the cause of the king.

These men and women of the infant church were changed and energised by the great doctrine of the resurrection.

And it still happens. Men may laugh, but we shall proclaim our faith in the resurrected Jesus. Our preaching is not vain. Thank God our sins are forgiven. The dead are only asleep awaiting the shout of the Archangel and the trumpet of God. The Lord is coming in glory and power. We are not pitiable.

Laugh at us if you must, but do not pity us. We believe we have discovered a joy which has eluded all others.

Perhaps we do not sing about it as joyfully as we ought but it is true and it is real. Jesus is alive now and is the High Priest of the Universe. His love is stronger than death and mightier than the grave and it is still making heroes today. All over the world and every day his men and women venture forth in his name on the high and holy enterprise of doing his business and seeking his will. Some are safe and sound; others are risking their lives for his cause. Why do they do it? Because they have been illuminated and invigorated by the great doctrines of the Word of God – in which they trust and by which they are inspired.

So this is our appeal. If you mean business about your religion; if you are earnest about your spiritual life; if you really want to find joy and hope in this hopeless world, then let the revelation of this Word of God become your master passion.

Trust it, believe in it with all your heart – seek to make it something that is central in your life. Do not be insulted but I am compelled to say that without it you are impoverished and utterly inadequate. Believe in it and you have discovered the secret of life.

But there is no middle course. In the end you will believe in it and live, or you will reject it and perish. And about that you have no argument with me – it was Jesus who said it. I can say no more.

By Dennis Gillett


The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Can I Possess The Holy Spirit Gifts Today?

Can I Possess The Holy Spirit Gifts Today?

Are gifts of the spirit, especially tongues, available today?The Gifts of the Holy Spirit

There is a difference between the Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit gifts.  Holy Spirit gifts were only available in the first century AD.

The apostles were baptised with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to bring Jesus’ words to remembrance and be guided in preaching the truth.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

With it came the ability, amongst other things, to speak in different languages and to heal.  If Paul is taken as an example, each of the apostles possessed all the gifts.

1 Corinthians 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

He was not affected by the bite of a poisonous reptile and he could prophesy, heal and raise the dead.

Different Holy Spirit gifts were made available to others by the laying on of the apostles’ hands. In the case of the Samaritans, the Holy Spirit gifts were not given at baptism. Philip (who had Holy Spirit gifts) could not confer them. The Apostles had to come from Jerusalem to lay their hands on them.

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

This fact did not go unnoticed by Simon the sorcerer.

Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

The baptised Samaritans required the Apostles to lay hands on them before they could receive the Holy Spirit; Philip who had worked miracles, converted and baptised them couldn’t pass on the gifts that he had received.

The baptised Ephesians required the laying on of the hands of the apostle Paul.

Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

That the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on believers was NOT the norm is illustrated in the case of Cornelius. That it happened was a sign to the Apostles from God that they were to extend their preaching to the Gentiles. They were astonished; it comes into the category of a special case.

From Peter’s words we can see that it was only the second time it had happened.

Acts 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.

It jogged his memory

Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

Only the Apostles could confer gifts of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands and those like Philip who received the gifts could not pass them on; Consequently Holy Spirit gifts ceased with the death of the second generation of first century Christians.

Not everyone in the early church had gifts and of those that did not everyone had the same gift.

1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

In each church by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, different members had different gifts to enable the church to function as one body. These gifts were necessary for the formation and establishment of the early churches. Once the churches were established and the New Testament was complete and available in written form the gifts ceased.

The history of the church confirms that this was the case. Within 200 years the churches had deteriorated almost beyond recognition both in doctrine and practice. Jesus says that those who possessed gifts were not assured of salvation.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

From Paul we understand that Holy Spirit gifts are not essential to salvation; for he goes on to say that possessing them without love would not profit them.

1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am becomeFaith Hope and Love as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.

Further he prophesied that the gifts would cease.

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Just 3 things would continue.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

The special abilities available to the first century churches are not available today. There is no evidence that they are. There are no apostles to confer special abilities upon us. Special abilities are not necessary for salvation. The Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit gifts are not synonymous. The Spirit of God which indwells every true believer is that of the mind; the way we think. This comes from reading the word of God, believing it and changing the way we think to the way God thinks.

The word of God was written by direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Peter 1:21  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

It was written to change the way we think.

Ephesians 4:23  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Colossians 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

Romans 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Hebrews 10:16  This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

After belief and baptism into Christ we are to live a new life following his commandments. Not doing our own will but God’s will.

Matthew 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

The emphasis is not on Holy Spirit gifts but on love.

Ephesians 3:17-19  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Ephesians 4:15,16  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

1 John 4:7  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

1 John 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Peter advises.

2 Peter 1:5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

He does not mention the necessity of acquiring Holy Spirit gifts.  When we are judged it will not be on the possession of Holy Spirit gifts, it will be on how we have manifested the love of Christ to others.

Matthew 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:45  Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

The Holy Spirit is not to be expected as an emotional experience.  Living ‘in the spirit’ simply means living by the commandments of Christ.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

1 Corinthians 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

If you want to come to grips with what the Bible really teaches, why not take the free online Bible study course available on our website, www.thisisyourbible.com?

This course will give you a background in the major themes of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As with everything we offer, there is no cost to you other than your time and effort… You will also have a personal tutor to whom you may pose questions either from the course itself or those questions which come to you as you read the Bible.

I hope this helps.

By Glenn Smith


Abraham the Father of the Jewish People

Have You Considered My Servant Job

Have You Considered My Servant Job’

Abraham and IsaacThe book of Job is deemed to be one of the oldest documents in existence and Job himself may have been contemporary with Abraham. Though Job was undoubtedly a real, historical figure, the writer presents a major episode in his life in the form of a play.

Two Challenges

➊ At that time it was assumed that good citizens are blessed by God with excellent health, high esteem and wealth. The book of Job challenges that assumption.

The same wrong assumption can be found in the New Testament. When confronted with a man who was born blind the disciples of Jesus had a problem:

“Rabbi,” they asked Jesus, “who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2).

They assumed that it must be somebody’s fault! Even today the same views are lurking around. “I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this!” can be the reaction to adverse circumstances.

➋ The book of Job also examines the question of forgiveness in a way which anticipates the teaching of Jesus.

Three supposed friends of Job appear on the scene. In spite of all the cruel words they heaped onto the head of Job, he was able to find it in his heart to show a forgiving spirit. Job remembered his friends in his prayers to God. In this way his prayers became medicine for his own soul; bitterness, anger and revenge were excluded by the greater power of forgiveness.

The Drama Unfolds

Act 1: (Job chapter 1 and 2:1–10)

We are introduced to Job as a “blameless and upright” man. He was extremely wealthy and had brought upJob and his three friends his children to be God-fearing citizens; he enjoyed great status in his community.

On one occasion, Job was holding a religious gathering but a character named ‘Satan’ also attended. (The writer introduces this character to give voice to the unspoken words of some of Job’s friends who were jealous of him and were thinking that if God had blessed them with great wealth, they could afford to be God-fearing people too.) The Almighty was also present at the gathering.

God gave ‘Satan’ the power to severely test Job and so a series of disasters befell him destroying much of his wealth and leaving him in a pitiful state due to painful sores which caused relentless itching. Would he still be “godly and upright”? Even his wife appeared to turn against him, “Curse God and die” was her advice.

But Job’s trust in God was unshakeable – although even he was totally bewildered. “Why, why, why is God dealing with me like this?” he asked, and he had no answer so he wished that he could die.

Act 2: (Job 2:11–32:1)

Three friends arrive to express their sympathy with Job but it soon becomes clear that privately they derive some satisfaction from the downfall of this great man. To them the explanation is clear – in spite of all appearances to the contrary, Job must have been a wicked man because everyone knows that God brings misfortunes on the wicked. In a long series of speeches they mercilessly rub their increasingly cruel words into Job, thus exacerbating his anguish. These are some of the things they say:

“Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (Job 4:8);

“How long will you speak these things, and the words of your mouth be like a strong wind?” (Job 8:2);

“Know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity deserves” (Job 11:6).

Job resolutely denies that his life has been tainted with wrong-doing in any way and the only explanation he can think of is that God has somehow got His facts wrong and that the whole thing is the result of a most unfortunate misunderstanding. If only Job could have the opportunity to present his case to God then this misunderstanding would soon be cleared up.

We note that Job is thinking of God very much in human terms. Eventually the three friends give up, concluding that Job’s self-righteousness cannot be shaken (Job 27:6 and 32:1).

Act 3: (Job 32:2–37:24)

At this point a young man called Elihu comes forward and he is very angry: angry with Job because he deems himself to be more righteous even than the Almighty, but also angry with the three friends because their thinly veiled gloating over Job’s misfortunes is so offensive.

Furthermore he holds that their conclusions are wrong and their condemnation of Job totally unjustified.

Elihu then turns to Job and rebukes him for having criticised the Almighty.

“Look, in this you are not righteous. I will answer you, for God is greater than man” (Job 33:12).

That really is the final answer – that neither Job nor we ourselves, can be greater than God and nor do we have the right to demand an explanation from God concerning His actions. Elihu goes on to draw Job’s attention to the greatness of God:

“Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered” (Job 36:26).

Elihu’s final words to Job are these:

“As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart” (Job 37:23–24).

A great whirlwind is approaching.

Perhaps this represents the turmoil in Job’s mind as he tries to come to terms with the fact that his presuppositions have been totally wrong and that he must acknowledge his own human littleness in the presence of his Maker.

Act 4: (Job 38:1–41:34)

The voice of the Almighty Himself now arises out of the whirlwind, as He asks:

“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? (Job 38:2).

He then draws Job’s attention to a catalogue of marvels in creation which surround us all but which, like Job, we tend to ignore:

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4)

“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” (38:31)

“Who provides food for the raven, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?”


“Do you know the time when the wild mountain goats bear young? Or can you mark when the deer gives birth?” (39:1–2)

“Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high?” (Job 39:27)

Such examples of Divine creation are drawn to Job’s attention – and they could be multiplied many times over.

Where were we when God created the spiders with their miraculous webs; when God created tiny birds with the ability to navigate over thousands of miles; when God created ants with their highly organised communities…?

Do we marvel at these everyday things, giving glory to the Creator, or do we mutter ‘evolution’, thus ignoring the evidence of the Creator’s handiwork?

Job is now humble enough to acknowledge his own arrogance:

“I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know … Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:2–3,6).

Act 5: Job 42:7–17

The three friends now return to the centre of the stage feeling very contrite for the cruel and grossly unfair words which they have aimed at Job. They are rebuked by the Almighty and they are given a piece of information:

“My servant Job shall pray for you”.

Job does indeed pray for his friends. Remembering his own need for forgiveness he finds it possible to forgive the friends for all the cruel things they have said.

And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10).

Thus the book of Job, written so early in Bible history, anticipated the teaching of Jesus, who said:

“Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

Job did that brilliantly and so should we if we want to be part of God’s new world when Job and other faithful believers will be raised from the dead to start life anew.

By David Budden



Joining Christ and the Promises of God


God’s Purpose Revealed In His Promises

The Bible gives a consistent message throughout its pages of the purpose of God. His plan is to fillGod's Promises to You the earth with men and women who show His character and give Him glory. He has given great promises which show the way this will be accomplished when His kingdom will be established in the earth.

In order for God’s purpose to be achieved, He provided His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s life, death and resurrection men and women have a way of being part of God’s great kingdom if they respond and believe in Him.

In this article we will look at two major promises given before Christ was born which all point forward to Him and His work.


God's Promise in the Garden of EdenAdam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Both they and the serpent were punished. Men and women would die, and would be unable to save themselves from this. But a ray of hope for man comes into this dark picture when God says to the serpent:

“I will put enmity (hatred, opposition) between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He (the woman’s seed) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

A “seed” means a descendant or child, but it can also refer to the people associated with the particular “seed”, i.e. we become the seed of Abraham if we are “in” Jesus by baptism (Galatians 3:27, 29).

The Seed of the Serpent

The serpent, because of his lie, came to represent a sinful way of thinking. The seed of the serpent refers to those with the family likeness of the serpent, those who distort God’s Word, lying and leading others into sin. They allow these characteristics to rule their life. In the time of Christ the corrupt religious rulers were referred to as a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 3:7).

The Seed of the Woman

The seed of the woman refers to one who would bruise or crush the serpent’s head, ie sin, dealing it a death-blow. This was a prophecy of Jesus Christ and his work:

  • “Jesus Christ, who has (by the cross) abolished death (and therefore the power of sin – Romans 6:23), and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:10).
  • “God, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3; see also 1 John 3:5; Matthew 1:21).

Christ was ‘wounded in the heel’ through his death for three days. Yet His resurrection proved that this was only a temporary wound, compared to the death-blow that He gave sin.

What does this mean to us?

On the cross Jesus destroyed the power of sin in Himself. He has invited us to share in His victory. If we are “baptized into Christ” we can share in the promises about Jesus, like that in Genesis 3.15. No longer are they just interesting parts of the Bible, they are prophecies and promises which are made directly to us!

Although sin and death are still experienced by true believers, by being baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27-29), they can have forgiveness of their sins now and eventually be saved from death. God has promised a time when the righteous will be raised from the dead and given eternal life:

“The dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:52-54).

Jesus was the true ‘seed of the woman’, but we can be part of that seed of the woman too by being baptized into Christ. Our lives will then reflect the words of Genesis 3:15 – there will be a constant sense of conflict (“enmity”) within us, between right and wrong. The great apostle Paul described a conflict between sinful thoughts and the love of God’s ways that raged within him (Romans 7:14-25). But he concludes by saying:

“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25).

So right from the beginning God promised Christ as a Saviour. This incredible promise given to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden has been fulfilled in Christ, and we too can benefit from it.


The Gospel preached to Abraham

The Gospel taught by Jesus and the apostles was also given in a series of promises to Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel. God, through the Scriptures, “Preachedthe gospel to Abraham” (Galatians 3:8).

If we can understand what was taught to Abraham, we will then have a very basic picture of the Christian Gospel. There are other indications that the Gospel is not something which began at the time of Jesus:

“We declare to you glad tidings (the Gospel) – that promise which was made to the (Jewish) fathers, God has fulfilled” (Acts 13:32,33; see also Romans 1:1,2 Hebrews 4:2).

Two Themes The promises to Abraham have two basic themes:

  1. Things about Abraham’s seed (special descendant)
  2. Things about the land which was promised to Abraham.

The New Testament comments on these promises. By letting the Bible explain itself, we can combine the teachings of both Testaments to give us a complete picture of the promises made to Abraham.

Abraham – a Man of Faith

Abraham originally lived in Ur, a prosperous city in what is now Iraq. An extraordinary call of God came to him – to leave that sophisticated life and embark on a journey to a promised land. This required faith because exactly where he was to journey was not made completely clear. It turned out to be a 1,500 mile journey. The land was Canaan – modern Israel.

During his life, God appeared to Abraham and repeated and expanded His promises to him. Those promises are the basis of Christ’s Gospel, so that same call comes to true Christians as it did to Abraham, to leave the transient things of this life, and go forward in a life of faith, taking God’s promises at face value and living by His Word.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out (from Ur) to the place (Canaan) which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

By showing a similar faith and acting upon it, we can have the same honour as Abraham – to be called the friends of God (Isaiah 41:8), to find the knowledge of God (Genesis 18:17) and to have the sure hope of eternal life in the Kingdom. To truly believe in the Christian message we, too, must firmly know the promises to Abraham. Without them our faith is not faith. With eager eyes we should therefore read and re-read the dialogues between God and Abraham.

The Land

  1. “Get out of your country. To a land that I will shew you” (Genesis 12:1).
  2. Abraham “went on his journey. as far as Bethel (in Central Israel). And the Lord said to Abram. Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward, and westward: for all the land which you see I give to you, and your descendants forever. walk in the land. for I give it to you” (Genesis 13:3,14-17).
  3. “The Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18).)
  4. “I will give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8).
  5. “The promise that he (Abraham) would be the heir of the world” (Romans 4:13).

We see here a progressive revelation to Abraham:

  1. ‘There is a land which I would like you to go to’.
  2. ‘You have now arrived in the area. You and your children will live here for ever’.
  3. The area of the promised land was more specifically defined.
  4. Abraham was not to expect to receive the promise in this life – he was to be a “stranger” in the land, although he would later live there for ever. The implication of this is that he would die and then later be resurrected to enable him to receive this promise.
  5. Paul, under inspiration, saw the promises to Abraham as meaning his inheritance of the whole earth.

Abraham did not receive the fulfillment of the promises in his lifetime:-

“By faith he sojourned (implying a temporary way of life) in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents” (Hebrews 11:9).

Abraham “died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).

Notice the four stages:

  1. Knowing the promises;
  2. Being “assured of them”;
  3. Embracing them – by being baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27-29);
  4. Confessing to the world by our way of life that this world is not our real home, but we are living in hope of that future age to come upon the earth:

God “gave him no inheritance in it, not even enough to set his foot on. But. He promised to give it to him for a possession” (Acts 7:5).

God keeps His promises. There will come a day when Abraham and all who have those promises made to them will be rewarded:

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises. God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:13,39,40).

All true believers will therefore be rewarded at the same point in time, i.e. at the judgment seat at the last day (2 Timothy 4:1,8; Matthew 25:31-34). In order to be judged, Abraham and others who knew those promises must be resurrected just before the judgment.

The Seed (offspring, or special descendent)

As with the promise of a seed in Genesis 3:15, this seed of Abraham applies primarily to Jesus and, secondarily, to those who are “in Christ” and therefore are also counted as the seed of Abraham:

  1. “I will make you a great nation, I will bless you. and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2,3).
  2. “I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever” (Genesis 13:15,16). Continued overleaf…
  3. “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them. So shall your descendants be. To your descendants I have given this land” (Genesis 15:5,18).
  4. “I give to you and your descendants after you. the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:8).
  5. “I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies; In your seed all nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:17,18).

Again, Abraham’s understanding of the “seed” was increased as God gave him further promises:

  1. Firstly he was just told that somehow he would have an extraordinary number of descendants, and that through his “seed” the whole earth would be blessed.
  2. He was later told that he would have a seed who would come to include many people. These people would spend eternal life, along with himself, in the land at which he had arrived, i.e. Canaan.
  3. He was told that his seed would become as many as the stars in the sky. This may have suggested to him that he would have many spiritual descendants (stars in heaven) as well as many natural ones (as “the dust of the earth”).
  4. The previous promises were underlined with the additional assurance that the many people who would become part of the seed could have a personal relationship with God.
  5. The seed would have victory against his enemies.

Notice that the seed was to bring “blessings” to be available to people from all over the earth. In the Bible the idea of blessing is often connected with forgiveness of sins. After all, this is the greatest blessing a lover of God could ever want. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” (Psalm 32:1).

The only descendant of Abraham who has brought forgiveness of sins to the world is Jesus, and the New Testament commentary on the promises to Abraham provides solid support:

“He (God) does not say, ‘And to seeds’, as of many (i.e. in the plural), but as of one (in the singular), ‘And to your seed’, who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).

“…the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus (i.e. the seed), sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities” (Acts 3:25,26).

Notice here how Peter quotes and interprets Genesis 22:18:

  • The seed = Jesus
  • The blessing = forgiveness of sins.

Joining The Seed

The basic elements of the Gospel were understood by Abraham. But these vital promises were toJoining Christ and the Promises of God Abraham and his seed, Jesus. Can anyone else be involved? Even physical descent from Abraham would not automatically make someone part of that one specific seed (John 8:39). To share these promises we have to become intimately part of Jesus. This is by baptism into Jesus (Romans 6:3-5); frequently we read of baptism into His name (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5).

“As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek (Gentile), there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s (by baptism into him), then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:27-29).

The promise of eternal life on earth, through receiving the “blessing” of forgiveness through Jesus is by being baptized into Christ, the seed, so that we can share the promises made to him. Romans 8:17 calls us “joint heirs with Christ”.

The blessing was to come on people from all parts of the earth, through the Christ’s work. The seed was to become a world-wide group of people, like the sand of the shores and the stars of the sky.

In Summary

We can summarize the two strands of the promises given to Abraham:

  1. The Land

Abraham and his seed, Jesus, and those in Him will inherit the land of Canaan and by extension the whole earth, and live there for ever. In this life they would not receive it, but would do so when Jesus returns.

  1. The Seed

This was primarily Jesus. Through Him the sins (“enemies”) of mankind would be overcome, so that the blessings of forgiveness would be made available world-wide.

By baptism into the name of Jesus we become part of the seed and share in the promises to Abraham.

The Hope of Israel

Paul could define his hope as “the hope of Israel” (Acts 28:20). The true Christian hope is the original Jewish hope, the promises made to Abraham the father of the Jewish people (see also John 4:22).

The Early Christians Preached:

  1. “The things concerning the Kingdom of God and
  2. The name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 8:12).

These were the very two things explained to Abraham under slightly different headings:

  1. Promises about the land and
  2. Promises about the seed. The good news about this Kingdom which was preached to Abraham played a big part in the early preaching of the Gospel. (Acts 19:8; 20:25; 28:23,31).

A Life of Faith

Just technically being Abraham’s seed through baptism does not mean that we are acceptable with God. The Israelis are Abraham’s seed naturally speaking, but this does not mean that they can be saved without being baptized and conforming their lives to Christ and the example of Abraham (Romans 9:7,8; 4:13,14).

The “seed” must have the characteristics of its ancestor. If we are to be the true seed of Abraham we must therefore not only be baptized but also have a very real faith in God’s promises, just as he had.

(Abraham) “the father of all those who believe. who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had” (Romans 4:11,12; see also Galatians 3:7).

Real faith must then show itself in action, otherwise, in God’s eyes, it isn’t faith (James 2:17).

Personal Testimonies 1

As a Jew I always assumed I was automatically one of the chosen people. Now I see there are two sides to this question. Yes, the literal children of Abraham are the witnesses to God’s existence. But I had never really thought about whether or not I had a personal hope of eternal life. I was just amazed to realize that eternal life was promised in the Old Testament! I saw an advertisement in a newspaper, and wrote off for the literature. I didn’t do much about it until I was invited to a Bible study week and for some reason I felt I should go.

There I understood that I really must be baptized because this is the way to personally be in Christ, to have the hope of Abraham, which is resurrection when Jesus returns. And then, eternal life in this dear land, of Israel / Palestine. I hope that I stopped being so proud and somehow against Arab people. I see that the hope of that eternal life here in the land is for all people everywhere. It has made me a lot softer, and more concerned for other people, as well as giving me the personal hope to look forward to beyond this life!

Personal Testimony 2

I thought all the stuff about the Old Testament was irrelevant. I considered myself a Christian, and had read a bit of the New Testament. When I started to see the connections between them, this is what made me realize that the whole Bible really is the words of God to me! It’s been great to learn how all the doctrines come together – that the Bible is inspired by God and without error and contradiction. The promises to Abraham are all about the hope of life, salvation on the earth not in Heaven, and the need for baptism to become the seed of Abraham.


Why Am I Here?

Why Am I Here, What is the Purpose?


Have you ever wondered why you are here?

Most thinking people have asked this question and wondered about the answer and the purpose of their life.

They ask this question because when they survey their life and look at how small a speck of time their life occupies, they begin to wonder what the point of life is?

When we consider how short our life is and how much of it we spend doing things we don’t really want to do ie. working for a living instead of just enjoying ourselves and even more to the point doing something that will last over time. 

Then we rightly ask, “What is the point of all this?”

How many of your friends or family are dead already? 

What was the point of their life?

Is there anything lasting that still lives on?

If not, then why not?

Surely this life is not just about sleeping, eating and working?

Man does not have the answer or answers to why we are here or for that matter the very existence of life as we see it all around us.

Why were you born? Is there a reason and a meaning for your life? Is your existence part of some greater divine plan?

So we ask again….

What is the Purpose of LIFE?

Was mankind placed on earth by an all-wise Creator as part of a great Purpose, is there a MASTER PLAN?

Knowing the answer to this should be supremely important!

Think for a moment. What could be more important than for you to understand the very purpose for your life?

Surely it can't be just to grow old and die?

Atheists refuse to know. Those who do not accept the existence of God certainly cannot accept that He has a Master Plan.

Cynics scoff at the possibility of knowing. They see the confusion and wide disagreement over this question and conclude it can never be answered.

Scientists cannot discover this question or provide any knowledge through laboratory analysis.

Honest astronomers, microbiologists and others acknowledge that God exists, but this alone does not reveal His Purpose for mankind.

Philosophers cannot discern it through meditation or discussion. Divinely revealed answers cannot be obtained by centuries of pondering questions.

Educators cannot teach what they themselves were never taught. Those who merely teach from books written by other men cannot teach what those books do not contain.

Astrologers like ancient soothsayers dazzle with tricks that reveal nothing of value. Do any reasonable people seriously think that such “business people” (those who sell fortunetelling as true understanding), supposedly in contact with the “dead” and the “spirit world” (actually demon spirits), hold the meaning of life?

Theologians offer humanly devised and crafted teachings that often carry no real evidence to support them. All religions profess to hold the answers to life’s questions, but most fall short of providing convincing evidence and often at best rely on telling us “it’s a mystery” which does not and cannot satisfy a truly genuinely enquiring mind.

Most people live their entire lives without a clue as to why they are here. They drift aimlessly, unconcerned about the answers to life’s greatest questions Why Life and Why Death? Others enjoy debating the meaning of life, but never arrive at the correct answers.

Many people are left to thinking that mankind is little more than a product of evolution, or in reality blind chance of just dumb luck!

So, what do you think?

More importantly what do you want to do about it?

Ultimately it is up to YOU so what will you do about it?

We suggest you learn here of God’s True Purpose with You and this amazing World.



What must I do to be Saved?


Part 1: God wants all men and women to be saved.

How is God able to save from sin and death?

Salvation is only through Christ

When will God save men and women?


Part 2: What must I do to be saved?

The essential steps

1. Humble ourselves, to accept Grace

2. Have faith

3. Repent

4. Be baptized

5. Live a life of obedience

Once Saved, Always Saved?



In our hearts we know that there must be more to life than simply living and dying. We look into space and consider the wonder of creation and realize there is a greater power than ourselves. We look at the complexity of the human body and realize we are not here by accident or chance. So, why are we here and what is the meaning of our existence?

For many, life is full of suffering and misery. Life often seems unfair and without meaning or purpose. But the Creator of the heaven and earth has told us there is meaning and purpose to life. He has told us there is much more to life than simply living and dying.

The Bible tells us that God wants to save all men and women from a meaningless existence and include them in His eternal plan. The Bible is a book of hope and it tells us of the way that leads to SALVATION.

Part 1: God wants all men and women to be saved.

God tells us that He wants to save all men and women:

“This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God also tells us that He will fill the earth with His glory and knowledge:

“Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 72:19)

“They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

God will fill the earth with His glory and knowledge by saving men and women who know God and reflect His glory. However, today we see a world that is torn apart by war, disease, poverty, suffering and disaster, and many people do not know, or want to know, anything about God. It is a world that is far from reflecting the glory of God.

When the earth is full of people disobeying God’s laws how can the earth be filled with His glory? Ever since the first human failure in the garden of Eden, all men and women have inherited a natural tendency to disobey God. As a result, all people sin and eventually die:

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)

Before the earth can be filled with God’s glory, sin must be removed. When sin is removed all the problems associated with sin will also disappear. For this to happen, God has told us about His plan of salvation.

Without such a plan, the earth would never reflect the glory of God and we would be without hope.

How is God able to save from sin and death?

Consider the steps that led to the introduction of sin and death in the Garden of Eden:

1.    The earth was full of God’s glory until Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6-13).

2.    They were punished with a mortal (dying) nature that would experience suffering (Genesis 3:15-19).

3.    All people have inherited the same mortal nature (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

To remove sin and death and fill the earth with God’s glory, the above steps must be REVERSED. And this is exactly what happened. Jesus Christ succeeded where Adam failed.

Jesus never sinned, he was totally obedient to God and as a result he opened a way for God to save us and fill the earth with His glory.

The steps leading to the removal of sin and death can be summarized as follows:

1.    Jesus Christ obeyed God completely (Hebrews 4:15).

2.    He was rewarded with an immortal nature that was not able to sin (Acts 2:22-24).

3.    All CAN inherit an immortal nature (Romans 6:8-12).

The essential steps

There are five essential steps that God requires us to take if we want to be saved:

1.    Humble ourselves – to accept Grace Romans 3:23-24; Titus 2:11

2.    Have Faith in God and the Gospel Ephesians 2:8; Hebrews 11:6; Acts 8:12

3.    Repent and be Converted Acts 3:19; Luke 13:3

4.    Be Baptized Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:43

5.    Live a life of Obedience Matthew 28:19-20; 1 Timothy 4:16; Matthew 10:22; James 1:12

1.    Humble ourselves – to accept Grace

The first step is to humble ourselves because there is nothing we can do, or have done, that makes us deserve this wonderful gift of eternal life. We have all sinned and deserve death (Romans 6:23). Eternal life is a gift we cannot earn, we can never expect it as something that is rightfully ours. We are told that it is by God’s grace (favour) that we are justified (made right):

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24)

Therefore, we must humble ourselves so we can prepare our minds for the coming of Christ who will bring us salvation:

“. . . All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5:5-6)

2.    Have faith in God and the Gospel God will only save us by His grace if we have faith:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”(Hebrews 11:6)

Not only must we believe that God exists and will reward us, we must also believe in the good news about the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ. This message was at the very centre of Paul’s preaching:

“Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 28:31)

Belief in the gospel was required before a person was baptized:

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12)

It is also important to have a correct belief about God and Jesus. We are told that true worshippers will worship God in truth:

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)

We are also told that our eternal life depends on knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ:

“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)

A correct knowledge of God, Jesus and the Kingdom of God can only come through reading the Bible. When Paul preached the good news to those in Berea they did not simply accept what he was saying, rather they searched the Bible to see if what they heard was the truth (Acts 17:11). We too must have this attitude and search for truth.

There are a number of examples in the Bible that show us how God views those who worship Him in the way that they think is acceptable without paying due regard to the way God commanded them to worship Him:

–       Cain worshipped God in his own way and was rejected by God. We are told in the New Testament that his works were evil (1 John 3:12).

–       The sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, were destroyed by fire from God because they were disobedient in the way they approached and worshipped God (Leviticus 10:1-3).

–       In Christ’s day the Jews had turned their worship into one that God saw as vain and empty (Matthew 15:9). And they would be ‘thrust out’ of the Kingdom (Luke 13:28).


“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

3. Repent

After hearing the truth about God, Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, we must repent.

Paul tells us:

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.” (Acts 3:19)

Repent means, “to change one’s mind for the better”. Therefore, we must change the way we  think and turn to God. Our whole life must be focused in the right direction as we prepare to make a lifelong commitment to serve God and walk in the footsteps of Christ.

4. Be baptized

Although baptism may seem a simple and unimportant thing to do, it has great meaning and significance.

We must take the time to understand the meaning of baptism and realize how important it is. Baptism is an essential step and not an optional extra. We are told clearly that belief must be followed by baptism:

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)

The book of Leviticus taught the Jews how to make a sacrifice for sin. The person offering a sacrifice for sin would take the very best lamb and shed its blood. Before it was killed, the  sinner would reach forward and place his hand on the head of the animal (Leviticus 4:27-29).

In doing this, he would be making a connection with the sacrifice. As he saw this animal rapidly die, he would understand that this animal represented himself. It would remind him how serious sin was and how terrible it is in God’s eyes and he would appreciate the great love of God in providing a covering for his sin.

In a similar way we have forgiveness of our sins today. Through baptism we are making a connection with our perfect sacrificial Iamb – the Lord Jesus Christ. This connection with Christ through baptism is explained in the book of Romans:

“. . . all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father; we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” (Romans 6:3-8)

In baptism we are symbolically dying, being buried in water and being raised out of the water just as Christ died, was buried and rose to a new life.

After baptism we enter into a new relationship with God and our past sins are washed away and we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

5. Live a Life of Obedience

Once we are baptized we must obey the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ and tell others about the wonderful hope of salvation:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matthew 28:19-20)

Once saved, always saved?

The Bible never says that salvation is guaranteed. Immortal life is only given at the judgement when Jesus Christ returns to those found worthy. Simply attending a church and saying that we “accept Jesus as our personal saviour” (a popular phrase, but one not found in the Bible) will, sadly, not guarantee our salvation.

The Bible teaches that even after we are baptized there is no guarantee of salvation. We are told that we must strive to enter into the Kingdom (Luke 13:23-24), and that not everyone who seeks eternal life will find it (Matthew 1:13). Christ will reject even some who are confident of their own salvation, because they did not do the will of God (Matthew 1:21-23).

Christ tells us that observing his commandments is part of our Christian walk (Matthew 28:19-20), and seeking to obey them is required for our salvation (1 Timothy 4:16, Hebrews 5:9).

Many Christians sincerely believe that they know the day and hour they were saved “, and yet time and time again such overconfidence so easily leads them to make mistakes.

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful in case he should fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12)

The Bible clearly teaches that:

Eternal life is not a present possession of believers (see Matthew 10:22, 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 3:12-14, 2 Peter 1:10, compare Titus 3:7 with Romans 8:24, compare Matthew 24:46 with Daniel 12:2).

Salvation is given to those who have accepted Christ AND have ‘overcome’ the trials they experience throughout their lives (see Revelation 2:7,17,26, 3:5,12,21).

Salvation is ultimately a future experience (Romans 13:11,1 Thessalonians5:8, Hebrews 1:14).

Eternal life is to be given at the “last day” (John 6:39-40,54,1 Corinthians 15:22-23).

The great apostle Paul, although confident of his salvation, recognized that he could be disqualified from the race to receive the incorruptible crown of life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

From another of Paul’s letters, it is clear he understood that his salvation was not guaranteed (Philippians 10:10-14). Paul also tells the Gentile believers in Rome that they must ‘continue’ in God’s kindness otherwise they would be cut off as many of the Jews were:

“Behold then the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell severity, but to you goodness – if you continue in his goodness – otherwise you will be cut off.” (Romans 11:21-22).

There are three quotations in Hebrews that leave us without doubt that salvation is not guaranteed when you accept Christ and become a believer. Read the following verses and ask yourself whether the salvation of these believers was guaranteed;

(i) Hebrews 3:12-14

(ii) Hebrews 6:4-6

(iii) Hebrews 10:26-29

God requires us to struggle against our selfish human nature s and remain obedient to Him.

Overcoming temptation is not easy and it will require great effort and perseverance combined with sincere prayer and a constant reading of the Bible. Paul described this struggle as a ‘war’ within himself. There was a battle between doing good and doing evil and often when he wanted to do good he found himself doing evil (Romans 7:14-25).

At the judgment every person will be rewarded according to his or her works, it is to the one who continues in well doing that eternal life will be given. In contrast, the disobedient will receive indignation and wrath (Romans 2:5-10).

The confusion surrounding salvation revolves around the uses of the word ‘saved’. The following example shows us how the word ‘saved’ can be used in more than one way:

Imagine that an airplane crashed in the middle of a large ocean. The people from the plane are struggling for survival. When one of them sees a life raft nearby he cries, “Thank God, I’m saved”. However, he is not completely out of danger, first, he must reach the life raft.

Once in the life raft he is still not totally safe. The life raft may sink or there may not be enough food and water to last until a rescue plane is sent. Even when in the rescue plane, there is a risk of the plane crashing – he is not ‘saved’ in the ultimate sense until he sets foot on land.

When we come to the Bible, we also find clear examples of the word ‘saved’ being used in a number of different ways. There are three distinct uses of the word “saved” in Scripture. Care in their use is required to avoid misleading conclusions:

1)    “Saved” in the past tense referring to the sacrificial work of Christ or when the believer connects him or herself with that sacrifice at baptism (see 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 3:5 for examples). This is like the person stranded in the middle of the ocean seeing a life raft and saying, “Thank God, I’m saved”.

2)    “Saved” in the present tense (continuous tense in the Greek, more accurately “being saved”). The following quotations indicate that salvation is a continuing process throughout the entire life of the believer (see Acts 2:47, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 15:2 and 2 Corinthians 2:15). This is like the person on the life raft.

3)    “Saved” in the future tense and ultimate sense (see Matthew 10:22, 1 Corinthians 3:15, 5:5 and 1 Timothy 4:16). This is like the person safely setting foot on land.


Because of the perfect obedience of Christ, God is able to fulfil His purpose and fill the earth with His glory.

When Christ returns, he will re-establish the Kingdom of God and this kingdom will grow until it fills the entire earth.

We can be part of this coming Kingdom if we follow the steps that God has recorded for us in the Bible. If we follow these steps, God will count us as righteous and we will be saved from spending eternity in the grave and be given eternal life.

The hope we are given by God is real. God’s purpose will continue to unfold and we have the option now of being saved and being part of His eternal plan. There are only two ways for us to go. We can chose the broad way that leads to death, or the narrow way that leads to life – the decision is ours.

Let us consider the words of Moses to the children of Israel:

“I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life,” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)



Live Now, Live FOREVER

Live now – Live forever!

A vital Bible message that everyone should read

Live Now, Live FOREVERWe are happy to bring to you a vital Bible message, which we think, which we know, can change your life.

Do you believe in life after birth?

Do you believe in life after death?

Do you want to live now?

Do you want to live forever?

Some people are not, really alive after birth. They breathe out and they breathe in and that is usually a sign of life. But life is more than just breathing out and breathing in.

To really live now means to be happy, to be fulfilled; to enjoy life. We recently talked to a woman who was so distressed she said to me; “When I wake up in the morning, and I realise I am still alive, I’m nauseated? I want to die”. She hated life. She in fact had twice tried to take her life. She wasn’t living. She was existing. And this young lady was only in her thirties – very sad. But she didn’t live by the Bible at all. We believe the Bible tells you how to live – right now, and also it tells you how to live forever.

The person who belongs to God, who has Jesus Christ as their elder brother, is a happy person. They are free from worry, free from guilt. They have the most glorious future you can imagine because not only are they living now, they have this hope of living forever. They have “a promise”, as the Bible puts it, “of the life that now is, and of the life that is to come”. (1 Timothy 4:8)

That’s a real promise. The Bible tells us how to live now, and by really living now, we will also live forever. This is really good news, and that’s what the word ‘gospel’ means. The word ‘gospel’ literally means, ‘good news’, and the Bible has good news for you!

The good news is that you can live forever with Jesus and with all the faithful of all ages in fulfilment of the promises that God made to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.

A sick world 

Now the problem with the world today is that most people are not really living now. They are just existing. They don’t live right. Crime, immorality, lying, cheating -these things are so common place – they have corrupted our society; from top to bottom, bottom to top. It’s true in every country of the world.

Today we were talking about this – one person’s house had been robbed, another person’s car had been stolen and there are places in our cities where you don’t dare walk on a dark right. This is true in every big city in the world, because people are not living right -they are, in Bible words, “doing that which is right in their own eyes”. (Judges 21:25). Now you cannot do that! You can’t do what is right in your own eyes. You must do what is right in God’s eyes! If you will do that, then you will live now and you will live forever.

I quoted you just a bit out of a verse, when we said that godliness “has promise for the life that now is, and for the life which is to come”. Those words are in 1 Timothy chapter 4 verses 7 and 8. The Apostle Paul is talking and he tells us; “exercise yourself to godliness”. And he then tells us why; he says, “bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness” is profitable for all things, and has promise for the life that now is, and for the life which is to come.” That’s life now and life forever.

Physical exercise or Godly exercise?

How do you live now, and live forever? You do your exercise. What kind of exercise? As I have been traveling around I have noticed, every time I go out, joggers, jogging. Jogging is a craze – it is popular all over the world. Wherever you go you find joggers out there jogging. Did you ever look at the faces of those joggers? I have been studying the faces of joggers and most of them don’t look happy. I am not criticizing jogging. Paul does not say that bodily exercise is no good, he says that it profits just a little bit in comparison to godly exercise.

What is really important? Paul wants to teach us how to live. It is good to have a healthy body, no doubt about it, but one man I know was asked what he did for exercise and he said he acts as ‘coffin bearer’ for all his friends who go jogging! So it is possible to overdo some things, isn’t it? Bodily exercise, having a healthy body may be important, but godly exercise is far more important, because not only then do you live now – you can live forever. Even the best physical exercise that you can do for this body will just help this body live a few more years, but if you practice godly exercise you can have an endless life! Jogging may be good, but I have not seen a 105 year old jogger, have you?

Our goals

We have two goals to accomplish in this article:

1. To show from the Bible how to really live right now. How to live a life free from worry, free from guilt, a life filled with “the peace of God that is above all understanding”. That’s the living now part.

2. To show from the Bible that God has promised you, and those happy fulfilled people who are really living God’s way now, eternal life in His kingdom, when Jesus returns to set it up on this earth, to rule as king of the world.

God must be first

In order to live now, and live forever, we have to put God first in our lives. As long as we put our self first we are going to be miserable, and the world is proving it to us every day.

Let’s now look at Mark chapter 10, and we find a jogger, here, as we’ve been talking about. He must have been in good condition. I’ll tell you how I know he was in good condition. If you ever look at joggers and runners -they get out of breath. And this man comes running to Jesus, and he was out of breath evidently, but no he wasn’t. The better you are at jogging, the less out of breath you get. Verse 17 says that he came running, and when he got to Jesus he kneeled down. Now if you are like me when I jog, I need to stand up because I need to get all the air I can, and when you kneel down you don’t get as much air. So I’d be huffing and puffing but he could also talk.

He runs up to Jesus, he kneels down, and he says, “Good master, what can I do to inherit eternal life?” Well that is a real wonderful question.

Before answering, Jesus begins to ask him a few questions. He said, “You know what the commandments are?” and he lists them, “Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not cheat, do not covet”. And the man replies to Jesus in verse 20, “I have done all those”.

Here is a remarkable young man! He’s in top physical condition and he has kept his body pure, which is more that we can say for most people today. I’m sure that you know people who are destroying their bodies with drugs or alcohol. It’s sad. People seem determined to destroy the only body they will ever have. You only get given one body, and many of us are ruining that body.

A fine young man, but…

This man was in good condition and he was trying to do the right thing and besides that he was rich. You know, young ladies would think, what a wonderful husband he would make. He was healthy, he was being true to his body, and he was rich. And so we are told, in verse 21, Jesus looked at him and loved him. Because of that we know the man was not lying. Many people might walk up and say, “I’ve done all these things from my youth up”, but they would be lying. He was not lying – this was the truth. So, Jesus loved him, and told him “One thing you lack, …sell whatever you have!” Just one thing – “Sell every thing, and give to the poor, …and come, …follow me…”

Well -he wasn’t expecting that. That was more than he wanted to do. He wasn’t willing to really put God first. There were things in his life that he valued more than living forever. And that is true of so many people. Is there anything in your life that is more important to you than living forever? Well, whatever it is that is your God. 

We are told in the Bible that we are not to worship idols. If there is anything in your life that you love more than God, then that is your God. It could be your money, like the young man; it could be your property; it could be your job; it could be your family; it can be anything that you say – “This, God, is more important than you are”. God will not take second place in anybody’s life. That is the problem, you see, people want God on their terms.

“Oh, I want to worship you God – on Sundays – but the rest of the week is mine”; and God says; “No, that is not the way it is”.

And so this young man was not happy. How do we know he was not happy? Well the Bible tells us he was not happy in verse 22. He was healthy, he was rich, he had taken care of his body – but he was sad and went away grieved. Exceedingly sad.

Now everybody who doesn’t put God first in his or her life is sad. They don’t realise why the problems are there. People are putting wrong things first in their life and it doesn’t bring happiness. 

True happiness 

In my country, America, we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights, which the Americans think is great stuff and in the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the U.S. Government, every citizen is guaranteed “the right to pursue happiness!” And boy do they pursue it! They are on the freeways going this way and that way and they are always chasing it. But God does not give you the right to pursue happiness, God guarantees you happiness itself. That’s better than chasing it, and that is what most people in life do – they just go around chasing happiness. The Bible tells you how to have happiness – right now! And then have it forever. Isn’t that tremendous news? That’s the news of the Bible for you.

But it takes faith – and this poor man did not have enough faith. Do you? If you don’t, don’t worry just now because you can get it – that’s the point. The apostles did not have it either. They said, “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). When you ask God to do this he always will, if you mean it, and he knows whether you mean it or not. If you say, “God, I really want to put you first, I really want you to increase my faith”, then he’ll do it. He promises you he will. But if you don’t mean it, then don’t say it. 

This is your life

Now we are all familiar with graphs, charts and things. We look at a map and it gives us down in one corner the scale of an inch is so many miles. Well I want to share with you a scale. This is a scale of your life.

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120

Years of Human Life

Each square represents ten years. How many reading this are over one hundred years old? Not many of us – maybe not any of us. So for the vast majority of human beings. This is our life.

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 

Our Life

This represents a longer life than most of us will have too. The average life span is a little over seventy years. Some reading this may be much older. But for nearly all of us, this scale up to one hundred years is more than adequate.

This is your life. No matter whether you are young, middle-aged or older, have you ever been sick? Have you ever been tired, have you ever been discouraged? Do you ever feel depressed? Do you ever have problems? These things are common. Every one has them. The only people who don’t have problems are dead. So be thankful you have a few problems – it at least shows that you are alive.

But you know you can’t have a good time when you are hurting. In the U.S. there is Disneyland. But if your big toe is swollen up and hurting you can’t have fun. Even if you are in a fun place, you can’t have fun when you’re in pain. And this life, at best, is full of pain, trouble, trials -so this is your life.

Pain, Worry, Fear, Troubles, Trials…

And God, and Jesus, are offering you a better life a longer life, a different life. This present life is going to end. But the life God offers goes on and on and on. It’s a different life, no pain, no sorrow, no troubles, never hungry, never depressed, never discouraged and it goes on, and on, and on. We can’t comprehend eternity to live forever, and ever, and ever and ever; we can’t understand it.

God is saying to you and me, “If you’ll put me first in this life you can have never ending life”.

That is what God is offering you. I am not offering it. I don’t have it to give. God is offering it. It is the gift of God if we put God first. 

Now we go back to Mark chapter 10, and Peter asks the question that may be on your mind. He says, in effect, “We have put God first, what are we going to get, Jesus?” ” we have left everything and followed you…” (verse 28).

And the answer to this question is the title of this article. Jesus says in verse 29; “I say to you” (this is Jesus talking, we should take notice when Jesus talks) “there is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, for my sake and the gospel’s” (v. 30) “who will not receive…” how much? Twice as much? Ten times as much? No, it says one hundred times as much! “One hundred fold” means a hundred times as much. “One hundred times as much, now, in this life.” That’s right – now! We are talking about this life – right now – you will receive a hundred times as much now in this time, of houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers and children, and lands. You will also have some “persecutions”, because every body that is alive has that, and then, besides that “… in the world to come, eternal life.”

Isn’t that fantastic! To think that God is saying to you through Christ, his son, that if you will put God first in your life right now, God will bless you right now one hundred times over and besides that he’ll give you a place in his kingdom. And yet, would you believe that people who have only a little bit of life left, turn God down and say, “No! – I’m going to do what I want to do when I want to do it, and I choose to die rather than to live forever!” 

Throwing life away

Isn’t that amazing, to think that people would put themselves first and turn God down and throw life away, Can you believe it? But it’s happening every day! It’s happening right now. There are a lot of people who choose not to read the word of God, the Bible, to which they have easy access. They are too busy doing other things that are not as important. They are playing cards, they are watching television, they are going to the movies, or some great sporting event. I’m not saying those things are sin, but are they as important as putting God first in your life? You can’t be saved by doing those things. They are a diversion away from the important things, and if you keep them in the right place, maybe they are alright. But you want to be careful if you do all that, because that’s the trouble with this world – they only want to do what they want to do when they want to do it, and they have no time for God.

I am pleased you have taken the time to consider this subject, because we believe its message is vitally important to your future, which is going to begin right now. 

What does your future hold? Do you have God with you? If you haven’t said “Yes” to God, you’ve said “No”! There is no such thing as “maybe” in God’s vocabulary. You cannot say, “Maybe, God, I’ll do it.” He’s not looking for “maybe”; it is either “Yes” or “No”.

Jesus said; “He that is not for me is against me”. (Matt 12:30). Now that may shock a lot of people, they don’t really want to be against Jesus. But if you are not all out for him, then you are against him because there is nothing in the middle. If you will turn your life over to God, you’ll have the best life there is right now! And you’ll have a life forever in his kingdom.

What a marvelous offer he is making you PEACE NOW & ETERNAL LIFE instead of A MISERABLE LIFE & DEATH.

With God everything is possible

Proverbs chapter 3, verse 5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” That’s it – trust in God. Don’t trust in your riches, don’t trust in your own ability, don’t trust in your own wisdom. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he…”, what will he do? He will take care of you; ” …he will direct thy paths”.

That’s Solomon talking – the wisest man. King Solomon by inspiration of God says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Don’t lean on your own understanding, your own wisdom. You can ‘t do it on your own. Salvation is impossible without God. That’s what Mark 10:27 says, “With God all things are possible”, but you and I can’t do it alone. Without God and Christ, the Son of God, there is no way you can live forever. No way at all.

God in control

In Philippians 4:6 one translation puts it –“Don’t worry over anything whatsoever”. Do you know that the number one killer in the world today is worry? Most of the people in the hospitals are there because of worry. Worry can cause ulcers, it causes heart attacks, and even some kinds of cancer. Worry causes all kinds of problems. Many of the people who are sick and dying, are dying because of worry, and they are miserable worrying, and then they are going to die. We are talking about being happy now and living forever.

So Paul says, “Don’t worry about any thing whatever, just tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer.” Isn’t that beautiful! Don’t worry, just tell God every one of your needs in prayer and “the peace of God that transcends human understanding will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus”. That is the way to live now – turn your life over to God, put him first in your life. He’ll take control of it, he’ll direct your paths, you’ll have no worries because you know that he is in command and that everything that is happening to you from that moment forward, is working out for your good. Because “all things” (not some things) work together for good to those who love the Lord and are the called according to his purpose”. (Rom 8:28). Is that you? Are you one of “the called according to his purpose”? If you haven’t said “Yes” to God, your answer is “No”. “No, I want this life. No, I don’t want to live forever and be happy, happy, happy. I’d rather be miserable”; is that your choice? There are people who love misery. I hope they are happy being miserable, because there are a lot of them.

God is offering you happiness and salvation right now. No worries, don’t worry over anything. But what you have to do is put him first in your life – and that is the hard part isn’t it? We don’t want to put God first. We want to do what we want to do when we want to do it.

Now we want to look at that second part. We now know how to live now. The way to live now is to put God first. He’ll take over your life, he’ll direct your paths. Whatever you want to do, he’ll help you I do it, providing it is according to his will. For example, you can’t ask God to help you rob a bank. But if you want to do right, and you ask God to help you, then he will. God and Jesus will always help you. Paul says: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). You can, I can.

The same Christ that helped Paul is as alive and well today as he was when Paul said that. 

The hope of resurrection

Now, the same Christ, died for you; and he wants you to believe in him so that you can live with him forever. Because he is not dead; he is alive. But Jesus was not alive while he was dead. You know what happened to Jesus. He lived for 33 years and a little bit, and then wicked men killed him. Then what happened? The whole world knows what happened – he was placed in a tomb. Three days later he was out of that tomb. He was alive. He rose from the dead. “He was the firstfruits of those who sleep” (1Cor 15:20) we are told. That means he came out of that grave to live forever. Paul says that what happened to Jesus could also happen to us. So you don’t need to worry about dying because if you die when you belong to Jesus, you will live again. But the Bible teaches life after death, not life while you’re dead, and there is a big difference. It is a sad thing that many people believe in life while you’re dead, and the Bible does not teach that at all. Paul, in a beautiful chapter, many call ‘the Resurrection Chapter’ (1Cor. 15), says (v. 51) “We will not all sleep” The Bible throughout its pages calls death “sleep”. What happens when you go to sleep? You are unconscious and don’t know anything until you wake up. That’s what death is. It is a peaceful sleep. “But we will not all sleep,” says Paul, “But we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”. (verse 51). Christ is going to return to this earth. If you have died before he comes, then don ‘t worry about it; he’ll wake you up. If you are alive, wonderful, then you will be one of those who don’t sleep but in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, you’ll be changed. “Because this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, so when this corruptible has put on incorruption and this mortal has put on immortality, then the saying will be fulfilled that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. ” (1Corinthians 15:53-54)

Immortality a future gift – not something we are born with

The Bible teaches you that the faithful are going to receive immortality. They do not now have immortality. That’s the Bible message. That is different than the message you would get in many churches. They tell you that you already have an immortal soul and that you will still be alive when you are dead. But you will not find that in the Bible at all.

I just want to read you a sad commentary from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. You can look this up for yourself under the heading, Eschatology. You will read these words: “The traditional concepts about the resurrection were combined with Greek notions about the soul and its immortality.” Isn’t that interesting, that the Encyclopaedia Britannica would say that the traditional conceptions, the Bible’s teaching, about resurrection, were combined with Greek, not Bible, notions about the soul and its immortality. If you go back into Greek philosophy, you will find it teaches that you have an immortal soul. Plato said so. But Plato did not believe in Jesus, he lived before Jesus so he could not, but he didn’t believe in God either. And Plato did not invent this doctrine. We find from history that it came from the Egyptians, and that Greeks like Plato adopted it from the Egyptians. 

According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Egyptians were the first people to believe in the immortality of the soul. And if you go to Egypt, you can go down into the beautiful pyramids and look at all the places where they put their Pharaohs, and then you can go to their museums and see the boats that they built and the jars of fruit that they left; and all sorts of other things for the Pharaohs to use after they were dead. But they never used them. I wonder why? Because the Bible teaches that when you die, it is like a deep sleep, you can do, think or know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9:10). And Paul says, in 1Corinthians 15, if there is no resurrection there is no hope. If you are alive while you are dead, you don’t need a resurrection. But the Bible says there is no hope without a resurrection. Would you like to look up every place in the Bible where the word immortal is found? You think that will take you all night? No it won’t. It is only found once in the whole Bible. That’s a fact. The word “immortal” is only found once in the entire Bible. That verse says that only God is immortal. (1 Timothy 1: 17) Now the word “immortality” is found in five places in the Bible. We have looked at two of them right here in 1 Corinthians 15:53-54. In the other places it says that immortality is something we must seek for. You don’t seek for something you already have, do you?

Now what about Jesus? In Paul’s ‘Resurrection chapter’, 1 Corinthians 15, we are told in verse 20 that Jesus is “the firstfruits of those who sleep”. Now if I have an apple tree, and autumn comes and apples come on the tree, what are the first fruits? Apples! Now what are the second fruits? Oranges? No way! The first fruits of an apple tree are always apples, the second fruits are apples, the third fruits are always apples. Never mangoes, oranges, lemons or any other fruit! Jesus is the first fruits of them that slept.

The truth about hell

Whatever happened to Jesus, the same is what is going to happen to us. He died. He was buried. The Bible says that “his soul went to hell” (Acts 2:27). That is what the original Bible text says. Don’t be shocked. The word ‘hell’ is translated ‘grave’ and ‘pit’ as well as ‘hell’. The same words ‘Sheol’ (O.T. Hebrew) and ‘Hades’ (N.T. Greek) are sometimes translated by the translators ‘hell’, and sometimes translated ‘grave’ and sometimes ‘pit’. So Jesus body, his being, (or “soul”) was put in the grave, in a tomb.

Three days later he was out of the tomb alive. That is the way it was with Jesus. And the Bible says that is the way it will be with you too, if you belong to him. You will be the second fruits. Don’t expect your conditions to be different from Jesus.

Jesus died, and was buried, and rose and was given immortality. Three days after he was buried in the garden, Mary saw Jesus and said “Master”, and Jesus said “Don’t hold on to me, because I have not yet gone up to my Father”. Jesus had not been in heaven for three days, he said he wasn’t. Jesus was in the grave for three days. So don’t expect to go to heaven when you die. Yes, forty days later Jesus did go up to heaven but the Bible also says no one else went there, except Jesus. That’s interesting, isn’t it? Just check that out in John 3:13. “Nobody has gone to heaven,” except Jesus.

Which church is right?

Now maybe this will shock you a little bit. Actually we have to shock you, because we want you to know the truth. There is no use lying to you. Most Protestant churches look to Martin Luther, but he and men like him left their churches because of wrong doctrines. That’s why they were called Protestants – it means protesters, they were protesting against the wrong doctrines being taught by their churches.

Martin Luther did not believe in the immortality of the soul. He said so, and he wrote it in his books. Lutherans today are embarrassed by that and do not want it quoted; but it is there in his writings. You can go to a library and look it up. So either Martin Luther was right and the Lutherans are wrong today, or Martin Luther was wrong and the Lutherans are right today!

So how are you going to know what is right? Look at them – everywhere you go – churches, churches and more churches. What are you going to do? How are you going to pick out the right one? Will you pick the one with the grandest church building, or the one with the most dramatic preacher, or the one with the nicest music and choir? Or the nearest?

That is the way that many people pick their church. 

Bible-based beliefs

Have you ever thought of carefully reading the Bible? This is God’s book. He wrote it. Did he write it simply to pass the time because he had nothing else to do? If God thinks enough of you and me to write this book, we ought to think enough of him to read it.

Now I want to tell you a little bit about True Bible Students. You may not be familiar with us. When it comes to the reading of God’s book, True Bible Students, as a community, have a pretty unique policy. Every True Bible Students goal is to read the Bible right through every year. We follow a little chart called “A Bible Companion”. It takes about twenty minutes a day. If God is not worth twenty minutes of your time a day then he’s worth nothing to you. And if you will read the whole Bible for yourself, then you will know what it says. Yes many people read bits of it here and there, or they read what someone tells them is in there, and they don’t even know, but you should try to read the Bible through every year.

I am in my sixties now – I’ve read the Bible through I don’t know how many times. I’ve been doing it since I was a child. My parents taught me to love the Bible and I am grateful for that, because the Bible is what God said. Not what man said; what God said. So everything we True Bible Students tell you has to be checked out by this book, the Bible. If we tell you something that is not in this book, then we are wrong. But we try our best to go by what the Bible says. The Bible says that you can live forever, but that you are not alive while your dead. The Bible says that the hope for the righteous is resurrection. The Bible says that Jesus is going to return to this earth to raise the sleeping believers who are unconscious in the grave waiting for his coming. And all the faithful are going to get the same reward on the same day.

The hope of the faithful

God gave Abraham a promise almost four thousand years ago and do you know that you can have the same thing Abraham’s going to get the very same day that Abraham gets it. He doesn’t get it one second ahead of you; because he is named in the list of great men and women which ends “All these died in faith, not having received what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that without us they would not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11: 40).

So Abraham has not gone to heaven. Even David has not gone to heaven (see Acts 2:34). They are waiting for resurrection. Heaven-going is not Bible teaching; it is not true Christian teaching; it is just Egyptian belief mixed up with Greek philosophy, and then worked into Christianity in the early centuries after Jesus time. 

Do you ever dissect verses? Look at the best known verse in the New Testament – 
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him, will not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

There are two groups of people in that verse. There is a group that perish. There is a group that have everlasting life. They don’t all already have everlasting life, and some go up and some go down! No, only one group gets everlasting life, and the other group perishes. If you don’t believe in Jesus, that verse says that you will perish. Now maybe you don’t like reading that. Back in the days of the children of Israel in the Old Testament, they said to the prophet Isaiah -“Don’t tell us the truth, lie to us”. “Tell us smooth things”. Yes, you can pack more people into a church today if you tell them smooth things. But the Bible doesn’t lie to you. So we urge you to check out whoever you hear, whatever you read – compare it with the Bible.

“Almost” a Christian?

Paul once gave a Bible lecture. He was on trial, really. He was speaking to a very important King, and as he talked and reasoned with that King about the things you have been reading about, the apostle Paul finally looked the King in the eye and said,

“King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets”– do you believe the Bible, do you believe what God says? Do you know what King Agrippa said? (I hope you don’t say what he said!) He said: “Paul, you almost persuade me to be a Christian”. (Acts 26:28).

If we “almost” persuade you to be a Christian, we have failed you, because “almost” is not enough. You have got to go all the way for Christ, or don’t go at all. You can’t “almost” be a Christian. King Agrippa perished, unfortunately. Paul did not want him to perish. We don’t want you to perish. We are grateful you have taken the time to go through this article. Thank you for your time. But we don’t want it to end here. If you have read this article and then put it down and forget everything you’ve read, well we have probably wasted your time. If you say, “Well, you almost persuaded me to be a Bible-based Christian”, then we’ve failed you. You’ve got to go all the way, only then can you live happier than you’ve ever been in your life. You don’t know what happiness is until you turn your life over to Christ. It is the greatest life in the world – right now! Besides that you have the promise of the life to come – eternal life in his kingdom. 

But you have to believe, and before you can believe, you’ve got to know. We want to help you ‘know’. But if you just say ‘almost’, you haven’t said enough. 

Jesus said;
“Enter in by the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go that way”. (Matthew 7:13). 

There is a traffic jam going to death. All the people steering their own way through life, zooming down life’s freeway, are headed for death. 

They are pursuing happiness. But God’s way to happiness is a little narrow road off to the side, and there is no traffic on it, because; “strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and there are few that find it”. (verse 14). 

It is not that God is not willing for everybody to be saved. He is willing; “God wants everyone to be saved” (1Timothy 2:4). But God is not going to force you to be saved. God will not grab any of us by the feet and drag us kicking and screaming into his kingdom. If you don’t want to live forever, then you are going to get your wish, you won’t. It would be a foolish decision, but most people make it. Most people turn God down.

You choose

We hope that among the readers of this little article, there are honest and good hearts that say: ‘Tell me more’. We don’t ask for you to make a commitment this minute. We don’t expect lightning conversions because we believe that true religion is a combination of knowledge in the head and desire in the heart. It takes both.

Some churches only go with the head, some only go with the heart. It takes a combination of your heart and your head for Jesus. Then you can really live now, and you can really live forever.

So the challenge that Moses gave to the people of his day, we leave with you:

“I have set before you, this day, life and good, death and evil.” (Deuteronomy 30:15).

That is what we have done in this little book – we have set before you life and good, death and evil. But Moses goes on: (verses 16 & 19).

“I command you this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his way, to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, in order that you may LIVE!”

“I call heaven and earth as witness this day before you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing – SO CHOOSE LIFE.”

By Robert J. Lloyd


God is calling

ARE YOU In touch with The Living God?

ARE YOU In touch with The Living God?

You accept there is a God.  But Do you have faith in Him?

God is calling

To recognize the existence of a Superior Being is just like having a casual acquaintance. You may have ideas about God, but your views do not change your life.

Faith, on the other hand, is like a close friend. Both faith and friendship are built on understanding and trust. Both require time, effort and giving of self. Both offer a resource of strength.

Communication with God

Mutual understanding sets a friend apart from an acquaintance. Good friends express themselves honestly and openly to each other and listen to each other with sincere interest.

The key to a lasting friendship is to maintain this communication, to keep in touch.

The same kind of communication is essential in your relationship with the Creator.

How do you presently express your faith? You may pray, go to church, observe holy days and sacraments, give money or perhaps just try to be a good humanitarian.

The language that communicates most effectively to God is your day to day behavior.

Your actions, attitudes and prayers convey to Him how genuine you are in your faith and how seriously you are trying to respond to Him.

On the other side, how do you “listen” to God? You may go to hear a priest or minister, recognize God’s care and guidance in your life or believe in His presence in a less tangible way. A church building and sacred music — or the beauty of nature — may give you a feeling of closeness to God.

The surest way to receive and benefit from God’s message is to read and study it for yourself. The Bible, in a very real sense, is God’s direct line to humanity. In it He reveals His character and His purpose.

Don’t be satisfied with second hand listening.

If you put personal effort into understanding your Bible you will more readily see God’s influence in the world and your own life, recognize the outworking of His purpose in world events, and feel the impact of His truth.


You have access to God’s word through the Bible. You also have a channel to express your thoughts to Him— prayer.

Prayer provides a way for you to ask God to guide your life, to thank Him and to express confidence in Him.

Moreover, the Almighty hears and responds to prayer if it is offered in faith. The Creator of the universe is interested and concerned about individual human beings. He wants to help those who put their trust in Him.

This doesn’t mean that God spares the true believer from suffering.

Sometimes He presents challenges, opportunities for personal growth and strengthening. But always He provides for basic needs:

“I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” Psalm 37, verse 25

Like a loving Father, He knows better than His children what they really need in order to develop the right kind of character. His guidance might come in the form of discipline.

For example, He may allow the believer to suffer the consequences of wrong acts or attitudes.

The Bible stresses that the prayers of those who have a true and active faith receive His special attention.

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.” Psalm 34, verse 15

The book of Psalms, in the middle of the Bible, contains examples of many different kinds of prayers. Each Psalm expresses a mind truly in touch with God — aware of His love, power and absolute goodness, and at the same time of the human situation.

To anyone who seeks to know God, the Psalms are a must for thoughtful reading.

Communication brings results

David, the king of Israel around 1000 BC, wrote most of the Psalms. His life is described in the Bible books of 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 Chronicles.

The Psalms record his thoughts and prayers: his requests, thanksgiving and praise to the Almighty.

David and GoliathYou may be familiar with the account of David and Goliath.

Goliath, a giant Philistine warrior, challenged the entire Israelite army.

No one was brave enough to accept his challenge to fight except David, a youth who happened to be visiting his brothers in the army camp.

Goliath laughed when he saw the boy.

David’s brothers were angry at his “foolishness” in going against such odds.

Nevertheless, David was confident, not in his own prowess but in his God. He knew the Almighty would help him.

Of all the many seasoned soldiers, none had apparently thought to call on the LORD for help. Unarmed, young David went out and killed the giant with nothing more than a slingshot and a stone — with the help of God.

A response from the heart

David succeeded because he was in communication with the Creator through personal prayer and meditation on the Scriptures. He wrote:

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.” Psalm 19, verses 7 and 8

So stirred was David, so deeply motivated by the beauty and truth he saw in God’s word, that he responded by opening his heart in prayer. David’s prayer was alive, an outpouring of what was in his heart and mind.

When he addressed the Almighty it was as though he were speaking reverently but intimately to a trusted father or superior. David’s prayers were sincere, for he know that God could look inside his heart and know all his thoughts.

“O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” Psalm 139, verses 1 and 2

Overcoming Goliath

Life isn’t always easy. It wasn’t easy in David’s day and it isn’t easy now.

You may not have to deal with the terrifying physical threat of a Goliath, but you have your own emotional, mental or psychological “Goliaths” — personal weaknesses, fears, failings, difficult situations or relationships.

You have your own problems to face.

David simply recognized that he could not cope with life alone. He needed help and strength from the Almighty God.

The Psalms are among the world’s most beautiful and enduring literature.

They are also a moving record of David’s prayers during some of the most agonizing times of his life. David had to face the consequences of his own failings and sins — sensuality, lust for power, discouragement and fear when everyone seemed to be against him, and worst of all, violent and vengeful sons.

Like David, you can turn to God for help and not be disappointed.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46, verse 1

Your responsibility

You can rely on God for help and support in your life.

But faith, like friendship, is two sided.

The LORD also has expectations of you. The Old Testament prophet Micah sums up His requirements:

“And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6, verse 8

Quite simply, He wants you to live your faith. In order to do this you have to develop a good understanding of the Bible message and a prayerful relationship to Him.

True worship

Faith differs from friendship in an obvious way: friends usually consider themselves equals, whereas the Almighty is far greater than any human being.

That’s where worship comes in.

Worship involves acknowledgment and admiration of another’s superiority.

What form does your worship of God take?

Do you feel there must be more to true worship than observing traditions and going to a religious service once a week? If so, you’re right.

Micah’s words in the preceding quotation refer to a way of life and an attitude of mind.

God expects the worshipper to recognize His authority and try to imitate His perfect character — every day, wherever you are.

What about ritual?

Ritual is one aspect of worship. In and of itself, however, it does not put you in touch with God. A person must do more than just go through the motions.

God expects faith and understanding.

The ritual aspect of worship described in the New Testament is simple and uncomplicated.

Essentially, there are two important rituals: baptism, and the bread and wine service.

However, what is important is not the acts themselves, but the significance behind them. Both link the believer to God through Jesus Christ.

First, the believer must be baptized into Jesus Christ.

This was the message the apostle Peter preached:

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2, verse 38

Biblical baptism, by immersion in water, is an act of obedience. It identifies a believer with the death and resurrection of Jesus, washes away that person’s sins and brings him or her into the family of God.

The other prescribed ritual is the weekly bread and wine service, a constant reminder of Jesus’ death and saving work. Before his crucifixion Jesus introduced this service to his disciples, commanding them to “Do this in remembrance of me.” (see Luke 22, verses 14 to 20)

All in all, the form of Christian ritual prescribed in the Bible is far less elaborate and far more meaningful than many have made it.

It’s up to you

The Bible urges you to take stock of your relationship with God:

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” 2 Corinthians 13:5

Accepting someone else’s word leads to an unthinking faith. Building your own personal idea of God apart from the Bible amounts to mere speculation.

Faith starts with a humble, receptive attitude. It grows as you open your mind to God’s revealed word and learn more about Him and His purpose.

It matures through two-way communication.

David prayed to God for help to stay in touch with Him. Take his prayer and make it yours.

“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me.” Psalm 25, verses 4 and 5


God's Kingdom Temple on Earth

God’s Kingdom will be on Earth

Earth from Space

God’s Kingdom will be on Earth

THE view of planet earth, seen from outer space, is very beautiful indeed. Confirmation of this has come from the astronauts who have gazed upon it. The earth is the fairest jewel in God’s creation and it is the chosen place in the whole universe where He has promised to reveal His Kingdom in all its glory. That is why it is so beautiful.

The earth, of all the planets in the solar system, is the one that is perfectly suited to all forms of life and the one that orbits at exactly the right distance from the sun to provide comfortable conditions for the human race.

Bible Prophecy is the Sole Source of Information on God’s Purpose.

The Bible alone explains why and how this should be. The reason is that the Creator “formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18).

We think it is logical to assert that if there is a Great Designer, and if He created a race of beings to inhabit this planet and no other, then there must have been an ultimate objective in His mind. Happily, we have not been left to guess what that goal might be. From the day that God put a human being on this earth, His one supreme purpose was that His creation should willingly respond to His own perfection:

“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

The final stage in fulfilling that intention is what the Bible describes as THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH.


Because it will be in every physical and political sense a real kingdom it will have a king, a government, a capital, and an international system of laws. God has already delegated “all power in heaven and in earth” to His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. What is more, we learn that the date has been set in the divine calendar:

“God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained” (Acts 17:31).

The kingdom of God on earth will soon be here. The abundant signs which confirm this are not the subject of this booklet; but we are mightily convinced that it is so! This coming Millennium will be the most exciting thing the world has ever seen. It will overshadow all those periods in history labelled with names like ‘the age of enlightenment’, ‘the classical age’, ‘the renaissance’ and so on. The kingdom of God will provide a superb environment on this lovely planet for all who will acknowledge God as supreme Creator and Jesus Christ as king of the world.


Use your imagination for a moment! Think of a world at peace, its inhabitants healthy and well-fed and doing rewarding work. Imagine a world in which there is full employment, where people are not exploited and where a man can live a long and prosperous life; a world in which famine and pestilence no longer kill one quarter of the population and where the full resources of the land and the seas are harvested. Already you are getting a picture of the Kingdom of God.

Now ponder on the absence of religious bigotry or sectarian strife; imagine the benefits of internationally accepted laws, with justice administered by fair-minded yet uncompromising judges. Conjure up a mental picture of life without terrorism and child-abuse; where good neighbourliness prevails and evil tendencies are discouraged, where governments establish good standards of behaviour, and implement just forms of retribution. That will be the kingdom of God on earth!

To many people, the Kingdom of God is just a vague hope that one day man will bring about a state of happiness on earth. To others, the Kingdom is a dream of heavenly bliss in the skies. But the realist knows that the aspirations of men are not producing a better world for us or our children. And anyone who reads his Bible carefully knows that there is no evidence for the common belief in an afterlife in heaven. The Kingdom has to do with a real, tangible world empire which will be set up when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth from heaven in the near future.


The disciples of Jesus found prayer to God a difficult matter. What to pray for? What are the priorities? The Lord solved their problems by teaching them what we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. It established their priorities for them: God is a Father, the provider. God has a realm in heaven where His will is obeyed; God’s kingdom is to come to the earth. It was a powerful plea to make.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven … For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever” (Matthew 6:9-13).

Christendom still repeats the prayer “Thy kingdom come” should always be on the lips of the faithful Christian.

For the most part, human beings act as though there is no Creator and no purpose in the world around them. But they are without excuse, for just look at the wonders of the human body and the miracles of plant life! Did they occur by chance or by design? Even atheists are forced to marvel at the incredible wonders of living cells. The apostle Paul, a well-educated man of his time, declared that atheism is untenable because “that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1: 19,20).

If there is a God, and He has a future for the human race, then surely He has told us? Of course He has! The whole Bible, from beginning to end, reveals His plans for the earth. He spoke to the “fathers” and through the prophets, and “in these last days by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:1,2). That is why the Gospel was the centre of Christ’s ministry. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 4:23). He left no doubt when that kingdom would happen:

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations … ” (Matthew 25:31,32).


We have seen that the kingdom of God will be centred in the land of Israel with Jerusalem being the centre of God’s Kingdom on Earth.  One thousand years before Christ the Jewish poets declared:

God's Kingdom Temple on Earth“Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great king” (Psalm 48:2).

It will make a superb capital, more central than New York, Moscow or Strasbourg – and convenient to the great land continents of Europe, Africa and Asia.

This kingdom of God is to be a world empire and Jesus Christ the emperor. This was revealed long ago. The prophet Daniel, interpreting a vision which forecast the successive empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome, to be followed by a fragmented world of strong and weak governments leading up to the coming of Jesus Christ, pictured God’s agent in the form of a “stone” descending to crush the rebellious nations at the time of the end:

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

“At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart” (Jeremiah 3:17)

An artist’s impression (above) of the Temple that shall be built in Jerusalem as a “House of Prayer for all nations”.

Here is another prophetic statement:

“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).


Before we go any further let us remember that the return of Jesus Christ will bring its terrors as well as its blessings. The takeover of the nations will not be accomplished without much resistance. Let us note four aspects:

  1. “All nations” gather against Israel but Jesus will destroy the invaders (Zechariah 14; Ezekiel 38, 39).
  2. Jerusalem will suffer a major earthquake, with devastating results, when “his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4).
  3. Some governments will challenge Christ and will “set themselves against the Lord and against his anointed” (Psalm 2:2), but there will be judgements on those who oppose Christ (Isaiah 34; Revelation 18).
  4. There will be a resurrection and judgement. Loud will be the cries of those who are rejected, who had the opportunity, but rejected it! On the other hand, what joy for those to whom the King will say: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

The Kingdom Begins

With these events over and the King having led his triumphal army of faithful followers into Jerusalem, the real work of Christ’s kingdom can begin. There is a new temple to be built and the tribes of Israel are to be allocated their respective divisions in the land of Israel.

National ambassadors will begin to arrive to pay their respects to the King: “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba (Arabs) shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him” (Psalm 72:10-11). Even the survivors of those enemies which invaded the holy city will come to worship, for “everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).

Nations will be rallying their peoples: “Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord”. They will do this because:

“He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”(Isaiah 2:3).

The effect of this education will be remarkable. Nations will “beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks” – a colourful way of describing disarmament. There will be no more war.


We ought to clarify one or two matters about the inhabitants of the kingdom of God. There will be two kinds of people: firstly, the rulers and spiritual leaders, who will be immortal (that is, never-dying) and, secondly, the citizens of the kingdom, who will be mortal (that is, subject to death).

The first group will include Jesus, the universal king; Abraham, David and other great “worthies”, who will have positions of honour in the empire; the twelve Apostles, and the faithful followers of Jesus the “saints” – who will be the administrative rulers and educators of the new age.

The second group will consist of the mortal peoples of the world who, at Christ’s return, survive the judgements on the earth and are willing for Jesus to be their king. This will include Jews who are allowed to live in Israel.


Immortality is the gift of everlasting life that God will give to those who have faithfully obeyed and practised His commandments – those of all ages of history up to the return of Jesus to the earth. These will be those who are:

“Redeemed … out of every kindred, and tongue, and people and nation … and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth … They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 5:9,10; 20:4).

We must not think of an immortal being as something like a ghost. Jesus, after his resurrection, was immortal; but he ate and drank with his followers and showed himself to have remarkable physical powers. The immortal body has flesh and bones like others, but is energised by the Spirit of God, suffering no disease or disability.

Jesus, like any wise ruler, will delegate much of the conduct of his empire to others who have been suitably trained. Prominent among those to be closely associated with the King will be the great Biblical examples of faith: men like Abraham, described as the “heir” of the world in Romans 4:13, and “my servant David shall be their prince for ever” (Ezekiel 37:25). Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, Moses and Samuel, will be there; women, too: Sarah, Rahab and Ruth, Mary and Elisabeth.


There will be a special role for the Lord’s twelve apostles – as he promised:

“Ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28).

In the book of Daniel, the prophet saw a vision of the kingdom of God on earth, and he was told about those who should be in charge:

“The saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever” (Daniel 7:18).

What is so special about these immortal rulers called “saints”? “Saint” means a holy or separated one – someone chosen for his dedication to divine principles. Like the men who were first selected and given the Spirit of God to help Moses to govern ancient Israel, they will be “able men, such as fear God, men of truth. hating covetousness”. But with one big difference: those in times past died – but the rulers of the future will not die, and their qualities will not be lost with age.

The King will have the discernment to select the right men or women for the jobs on hand and to utilise the skills of mind and body which they began to develop during their service in this present life.


Eternal life will convey marvellous benefits on these governors and teachers. With healthy minds and physically perfect bodies, they will not suffer the crippling effects of disease or disablement: “They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more: neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat … and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:1617). Like their Master, they will know what is in men’s hearts and, with the unerring ability to diagnose the source of human problems, will have the capacity to root out trouble-makers and to promote trust between neighbours. Think what that could accomplish in some of the world’s present trouble-spots!

What a transformation will begin to work its way across the earth when Christ’s immortal administrators are sent out from Jerusalem. New laws, based on Biblical principles, will have the effect of cutting through partisan politics and will rapidly remove the cause of so much bigotry among contesting religions.


Of course, it will take time for adjustments to be made and for people to see the benefits to their way of life. It will not happen overnight; but there is to be a period of one thousand years (Rev 20:4, Psa 72) for the glorious “refreshing” of the earth’s peoples before God’s programme is complete.

We must not think of the coming age as a fanciful, too-good-to-be-true fairyland. It will be a very real world, peopled with those who have survived the judgements and have come to accept that Christ is a world ruler who, for the good of the whole civilisation, is prepared to rule with “a rod of iron”. But the mortal nations will still have their own characteristics and cultures, and their own racial backgrounds. The rulers will have the gift of speaking in other languages; but it may be some time before the world’s dialects are completely changed into the one universal language that will reverse the confusion of Babel (see Genesis 11) and allow the suspicions and difficulties of multi-language communication to be dispersed.


At every level of civilisation throughout the world there are forces at work which undermine happy and rewarding co-existence between people. No ideology, capitalism or communism, even the tyranny of cruel despots, has been able to handle them. They are the forces of greed, corruption, subversion, bribery and personal power. All this is going to change. There will be justice for the poor, and the under-privileged will get fair treatment. Jesus will see to that:

“He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:3-4).

When “princes shall rule in judgement” (Isaiah 32:1) the whole balance of society will change: no longer one law for the rich and one for the poor! The same rules will apply whether you live in Washington, Moscow or Beijing, because they will be based on the Sermon on the Mount and on divine principles laid down by the King and his court in Jerusalem.

How will this affect the lives of the people? When criminals and hooligans perceive that the judges can see right through them and that the punishment will always fit the crime, the majority will soon learn that loving one’s neighbour and the virtues of honesty and truth are much to be preferred in the attainment of a happy and prosperous life.

Not only does it mean that families and neighbours can live in complete harmony but it will spill over into a release from national and international tensions. As Isaiah said: “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever” (Isaiah 32:17).

The restraints imposed by the immortal rulers will prevent the worst excesses of human nature. Unrepentant sinners will suffer summary execution and the otherwise long lives which people might enjoy will be cut short. “With the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked”; and, “The sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 11:4; 65:20).


The Prophet Isaiah also tells us that:

“There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old” (65:20).

This suggests that infant mortality, which is still a scourge in many developing countries, will be wiped out. If someone only reaches the age of 100 he will still be accounted a child. What a change from the present, when life expectancy in some countries is only 40 years or so, and even in the medically advanced countries it only attains what the Psalmist described as “threescore years and ten”. Childhood will be a joy, and old age no disgrace, for, “there shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof” (Zechariah 8:4,5).

If Jesus, the Great Physician, in his first ministry could heal the sick, cure blindness from birth, make cripples walk, exorcise mental disorders and raise people from the dead, then there is every certainty that he and his aides will do that, and more, in the future. When the people of the world are moved to turn to divine standards and to seek help in the right quarter, then scourges like cancer and heart disease will disappear. When families again have a reverence for the sanctity of marriage and for correct sexual behaviour then pestilences like AIDS will no more afflict the nations. The good news is that:

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing” (Isaiah 35:5-6).


It is a sad commentary on our modern civilisation that despite large deposits of minerals and the abundant potential in the soil for the production of food, man seems unable to feed the evergrowing population. He cannot distribute the resources or organise the labour so that everyone can have satisfying work and lead a prosperous and contented life. But it can be done! The resources have been there since the Creator designed this bountiful earth. What it needs are right-minded people, with the commitment and authority to solve the physical problems and to organise the bounty.

It is worth remembering that Jesus was a great organiser as well as a great teacher. What he could do in feeding thousands of men, women and children in well-ordered groups of fifty or a hundred, with a dozen assistants, he will surely do among the starving millions when he is God’s King on earth. The heartrending scenes we have seen reported from Ethiopia or Mozambique or Bangladesh will be a thing of the past. No food mountains will rot in European storehouses; no American crops will be burned because the sale price is too low.

The Bible foresees the curse on the ground being removed, and plentiful crops for all who will labour for them. “There shall be an handful of corn … upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon”, said king David (Psalm 72:16). “The mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters”, said Joel (3:18; see also Amos 9:13). The farmer’s crops will be abundant, for “the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew” (Zechariah 8:12).

Then there is the prophet Isaiah’s vision of the desert rejoicing and blossoming as the rose (35:1). Think of the vast areas of Africa, the Middle East and Asia where every year the sands are encroaching on fertile ground and millions are dying. Governments seem unable to spend the huge sums of money necessary to bring up the water that often lies just below the surface! Then what a blessing it will be for desert peoples to be engaged in huge irrigation schemes and to benefit from the new fertility of their lands. These are the wonderful things that will be possible in the kingdom of God.


There will be less concentration of population in large cities: city dwellers moving out into pasture and woodland areas made available by worldwide conservation schemes. God has never encouraged people to live in large cities, where the worst traits of humanity are expressed and where evil men hide in dark places. On the other hand when, under the improved conditions of Christ’s reign, human fitness reaches its peak and men’s minds are expanded to their full potential, there will be abundant room for utilising those skills, to the tremendous benefit of all the world’s inhabitants. Everyone will achieve what we call ‘job satisfaction’:

“They shall build houses, and inhabit them (a contrast with former times!); and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (Isaiah 65:21-22).


One of the most joyful prospects will be the harmony that will exist between ancient enemies. The prophet’s vision of the wolf and the lamb feeding together is not only a beautiful description of a restored harmony between man and the animal creation, but it also has a special reference to future peace between previously warring nations.

Isaiah speaks of the Arabs, coming to Jerusalem to “shew forth the praises of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6). He pictures them helping to build up the walls of the new city, working with their former half-brothers, the Jews, and feeding their flocks and becoming farmers and vinedressers. That will be a wonderful reversal of the present state of affairs in the Middle East: a fulfilment of major promises which God made long ago to the Arab branch of Abraham’s family.


Will this benevolent state of affairs last for ever? In the sense that God has designed the earth for man to live on for ever, the answer is: Yes. But Christ’s kingdom, controlled by ever-living rulers, will still have a predominantly mortal populace. That is to say, human propensities and sinfulness will still be there and that is why God has set a time limit on it. By God’s reckoning it will take one thousand years fully to educate the inhabitants of the world to divine standards of behaviour. By then they will have a long-term understanding of the marvellous benefits to be enjoyed by possessing eternal life themselves.

Eventually the Millennium must come to an end. It will be marked by a deliberate easing of the King’s strong reign in order to allow vestiges of rebellion among some of his subjects to come to the surface in a final desperate challenge to his will (see Revelation 20). These disloyal subjects will attack Jerusalem, but will be utterly destroyed. It will be mankind’s last death fling. It will provide the necessary marker, a millennium-end “sign of the times”, to the people of the world that the finale is about to take place.

When the rebellion is over, Christ’s work as Saviour and King is nearly done. The dead of a thousand years must be raised from their graves, to meet again their King and Judge:

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;. and the books were opened … and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

Alongside those raised will stand the millions who are living. They must now await Christ’s righteous judgement. The rebels and those who represent the worst elements of human nature will die, consigned to the “lake of fire”, the death from which there is no returning. On the other hand, the faithful subjects of Christ’s kingdom on earth will then receive their reward, everlasting life, just as their rulers had done a thousand years before.


Following these dramatic events, the earth is to be inhabited only by men and women who possess eternal life. The work of the Lord Jesus as King is done. He has no mortal subjects to reign over and the great destroyers of man’s potential, sin and death, have been conquered. God’s will is now truly done on earth, and the “Lord’s prayer” has been answered. The Apostle Paul summed it up in 1 Corinthians 15:

“Then cometh the end, when he (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death … And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (verses 24-28).

We may find it difficult to think that far ahead, or to visualise what is meant by God being “all in all”. But it will be the climax of the Creator’s great purpose with the earth and it will be a very wonderful time for all His True Believers to enjoy!

“As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:21).

Don’t let this marvellous future slip away from you! Jesus will be here soon. Please, read your Bible, and pray with all your heart:

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.


Mirror on the Kingdom of God

What will the Kingdom of God on Earth be like

Mirror on God’s Kingdom on Earth

When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth he said:

Mirror on the Kingdom of God“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…”(1 Corinthians 13:12).

Paul was referring to the rather imperfect mirrors of the day, using this lovely image to explain that today we cannot fully comprehend the future, but we will do so in due course. We are not given many detailed descriptions of what the future Kingdom of God will be like. We know the Kingdom of God will be established at the return of Jesus to the earth, and we know that it will be incomparably better than anything which exists now. But how much do we know about it?

The last book of the Bible says:

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed… They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4).

Twice more in the following verses, we read, “when the thousand years are ended” (v4, 7). The initial phase of the Kingdom of God appears to be a one thousand year period, with both mortal and immortal parts to the population.

This is the period we call ‘the Millennium’. It is followed by a further time which has no end.

This idea is supported by the Apostle Paul, who talks about an initial phase in which Jesus reigns, without specifying the period. During this time, Jesus removes all opposition to his reign, and then he can hand over the kingdom to his Father, the Lord God.

“Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet… that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24–25, 28).

The Beginning and the End

What do we know about the Millennium and the period which follows it?

The Bible opens with a picture of what God originally planned.

“God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

The record in Genesis continues:

“Out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9).

This sounds idyllic: Eden was a wonderful place in which to live, the place that God intended for the first man and woman. Later in the chapter we read, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15).

The man and woman were not just left to be at leisure, they had work to do. It does not appear that this was a burden to them, as work was later to become. We discover that the man Adam, and Eve his wife, must have spent time in the evening of each day communing with the angel who represented God. “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Genesis 3:8). This reads as if this was something which happened routinely.

For Adam and Eve, life in the Garden of Eden must have been a paradise.

They had all they needed, an ideal climate, no threats of danger, nothing to fear. There was sufficient food, pleasant work to do, and at the end of the day they spent time in the company of an angel. If all that is to be restored in the Kingdom of God, what a wonderful existence it will be. That seems to be the prospect held out also at the end of the Bible:

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.” (Revelation 22:1–3).

This last prophecy of all gives a picture of the garden of Eden restored, but now on a larger scale, able to hold a much bigger population. The leaves of the tree of life are there to heal the nations, which demonstrates the loving provision of the Lord God, for they are in desperate need of healing.

The curse which followed the sin of Adam and Eve will be removed. It is a continuation of the scenario in Eden.

Right in the middle of this vision of the future is the throne of the Lord God, and also of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace and Worship

Other Bible passages tell us a little about life in God’s Kingdom; many are in the prophecy of Isaiah.

“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore”(Isaiah 2:2–4).

This message is so important that it is also found in the book of Micah chapter 4. It demonstrates that God’s law will be imposed, replacing all the fallible systems of law which now operate. This is willingly accepted by the population, although not everyone elects to go to God’s house, so it must be speaking about the Millennium.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the prophecy comes at the end. God’s judgment is to be imposed on all nations. Instead of energy and resources being used for armaments, they will be used to produce food. The prospect of never seeing a picture of a starving child ever again is a great reason to take notice of these verses.

The idea that nations will not take up arms against another nation is also wonderfully appealing. So many lives are lost, orSo many innocent lives are lost in war irretrievably scarred by war, and Isaiah promises that people will not even learn how to fight and make war.

A New Start

The end of Isaiah’s prophecy has this wonderful vision:

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness” (Isaiah 65:17–18).

Jerusalem today is seen as a difficult place: holy for three of the world’s major religions; a city which has been more fought over than almost any other; a place whose history is full of tears and conflict; constantly associated with strife and trouble. Yet its name means “City of Peace”! The prophet sees it as somewhere which will become a place of joy.

“No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed” (v20).

This is clearly looking at a population of people who are mortal. For those members of the public who are fortunate enough to survive the coming judgements and who then live in God’s Kingdom, theirs will be a long life free of the dangers that now exist.

Isaiah’s picture continues to describe a life of peace and safety, with oppression and crime removed:

“They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (v21-22).

Pictures of Paradise

These prophecies set out for us what God’s Kingdom will be like. In the same way that builders sometimes present an ‘artist’s impression’ of what a new development will look like, Isaiah gives us a ‘preview’ of the Kingdom. It is always interesting to compare the artist’s impression with the reality. For those who are in God’s Kingdom, they will be able to compare the kingdom with the visions which

Isaiah saw.

“The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,” says the LORD (v25).

The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox...Not many miles from where we live there is a zoo, with a variety of animals in cages or enclosures so that you can see them safely. Some find it quite cruel, and I confess I have not been for a long time. I am sure, however, that there are no wolves and lambs in the same cage, nor would a zoo–keeper last long if he fed straw to the lions.

Isaiah, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is painting another picture of God’s Kingdom for us, a place which will have been vastly transformed from all that we experience now. There are many other details which we would love to know, but we can see already that life in God’s Kingdom will be vastly better than today’s world.

Not For Everyone!

There is just one worrying feature of all this. Not everyone will be in that kingdom. The Bible makes it clear that not everyone will be raised from death, and not all of those raised will be accepted. For example:

“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).

We must allow ourselves to be so enthused by these visions of life in the Kingdom, that we become determined to be there, that we do not allow anything to get in the way of us following the Lord Jesus.

By reading our Bibles and discussing these wonderful pictures with others, we can develop that knowledge and enthusiasm, which will fill our lives now with purpose and give us a real hope for the future.

By Mark Sheppard


You and God


Getting To Know GodIntroduction

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

With these few short words the Bible introduces us to God. We learn that the God of the Bible is Creator — maker of heaven and earth, the giver of life, the giver of good. But the Bible shows us that God is much more than a creator. He is our heavenly Father.

God wants us to be His children. God wants to be our heavenly Father. In fact, this is one of the most powerful messages in the Bible. God is willing to make us part of His special family, but that does not happen automatically. We must enter His family in the special way He has prescribed. That way is summed up in these words:

“Yet to all who received Jesus, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12-13).

In this booklet we will learn about God our Father and how we can become His children.

Revelations of God in the Bible

The Bible provides us with a record of how God has revealed Himself to us. Over time, God has revealed Himself in many ways. He is the same God, but over time He has told us more about Himself. In one sense, the Bible is an extended record of those revelations.

Long after He made the earth God appeared to a special man, later named Abraham, speaking promises that surely seemed incredible (the first of these promises is recorded in Genesis 12). But Abraham believed God, and went to a place he did not know far away. God promised to Abraham that he would found a great nation, and that he would receive a magnificent inheritance, with eternal life. But last of all he made the greatest promise – “I will be your God” (Genesis 17:7). In making this promise, the Creator became the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He became the God of Jacob’s descendants, the nation of Israel.

Some four hundred years later, Abraham’s descendants hardly seemed to be God’s nation, for they were slaves in Egypt. But God had not forgotten His people. The Lord appeared to another special man – Moses. God told Moses that he had a great mission to complete. Moses was to deliver God’s people from their bondage. Moses asked the question that he had to know to begin his task — “WHO ARE YOU?”

A powerful voice gave the answer:

“I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:14).

God revealed himself as “Yahweh” – a Hebrew name meaning “He who was, who is, and who will be” (compare Revelation 1:8). To Moses and to the nation of Israel, God showed Himself to be a God of power and deliverance, leading the nation out of slavery in Egypt through mighty displays of power.

Some 500 years later, the Lord appeared to Elijah, a man who would become a prophet without equal for centuries to come. Once Elijah became afraid and fled to the mountain of God, Mt. Horeb (the account is given in 1 Kings 19). There the Lord God summoned him to the mouth of a cave, and revealed Himself in a mighty wind that broke the rocks. But God was not in the wind. Then he revealed himself in a thundering earthquake – but God was not in the earthquake. He revealed himself in a raging fire – but God was not in the fire. Last of all, God spoke in a still small voice.

In the Old Testament, we can read how God revealed himself to Abraham, to Moses, and to Elijah. These Bible accounts contain awesome, fantastic pictures of God. But they also reveal a God quite distant from a sinful people. This is a God that is high, far-removed, and nearly unapproachable. When they saw God revealed, the sight was so fearsome that Abraham fell down to the earth in a deep sleep, Moses hid his face, and Elijah covered his face with his coat. God was so removed from His people that only one man, the High priest, could come into the Lord’s most holy place, and then only once a year.

Yet in His revelation to Elijah there were special words —still small words that pointed forward to a time when the Lord would be revealed in full.

Some 900 years later that voice did spring to life. The son of God, a man named Jesus, was born in a village named Bethlehem. This Jesus came with a very special purpose — to reveal God in a way no one else had ever done. To reveal God as He really wants us to know him. To reveal God as Father. It needed a son to reveal the Father.

Revealing God as our heavenly Father was one of the most important missions in the life of Jesus. In the preface to his Gospel record, the Apostle John says,

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14 RSV).

Jesus himself would later say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus was, in effect, turning on its head the popular phrase, “like father, like son“. In this case, no one had ever seen God. But now they saw His son, and in seeing Jesus they could see all the magnificent character of the Father.

The God who revealed Himself to Abraham, Moses, and Elijah was now revealed more clearly – as a Father, and not just Father of the son, Jesus. In the Lord’s prayer Jesus once and for all dispelled the fear that men had felt when approaching God;

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:9).

God is the Father of the son. But wonderfully, incredibly, He is our Father too. Indeed, the mission of Jesus was not only to reveal God as Father. It was also to show us, you and me, how to become His children.

Who is our heavenly Father? How do we become children of the Father? And if we are His children, how then should we live? These are the questions we answer in the sections that follow.

Who is our heavenly Father?

God as our Father is a subject that is developed mainly in the New Testament. The reason for this is plain – it needed God’s son, Jesus, to reveal his Father. Nevertheless, the theme of God as Father can still be found in the Old Testament. There, we find echoes of the “Father” theme. For instance, in 2 Samuel 7 we read this promise that was given to David, one of Israel’s greatest kings:

“He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son.” (vv. 13-14).

Written about 1000 BC, this was a prophecy of a great king, who would also be the son of God. This prophecy came true when Jesus was born, as recorded in Luke 2 in the New Testament.

Another place where God is referred to as a father is in Psalm 103. This is clearly a more general reference to God as father:

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103: 13-14).

While God is likened to a father in a figure of speech, He is not formally addressed as “Father”. To Abraham, Moses, Elijah and many others in the Old Testament, God is revealed in power and glory, but not as Father. That aspect of our God is revealed most fully in the New Testament where our understanding of God becomes much more complete.

Jesus could fully reveal the Father because he was exactly like his Father. The first chapter of Hebrews tells us this:

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

This is an important verse because it teaches us how to understand both Jesus and his Father. The words “exact representation” are translated from the Greek word ‘kharakter’. A Greek dictionary shows that this is a word used by engravers to mean “the figure stamped by an engravers tool; a precise reproduction”. In other words, Jesus is an exact copy of the Father. That is, Jesus had his Father’s “character” (the English word obviously derives from the same Greek word). Put simply, Jesus was not His Father – he was his Father’s son. Jesus is not God, Jesus is the Son of God (compare John 14:28, 20:17).

When we look at Jesus, we see the Father in every respect. Like son, like Father. Jesus was the only such revelation of His Father. John tells this in the preface to his gospel record:

“No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (John 1:18 RSV).

What do we learn about the Father when we look closely at Jesus? From the four Gospel records (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) we can hear the words that Jesus spoke about his Father. These tell us about the wonderful character of our heavenly Father.

Jesus’ lessons about his Father are found in many places, but three are especially useful. The first is the sermon on the mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). The second is a series of “children” passages throughout the four Gospel books. And the last are a series of passages from the book of John.

(1) Lessons from the sermon on the mount

1.   The Father is concerned about His good name — and how his children reflect on it.

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt. 5:16).

2.   God shows no partiality, and He expects us to treat all the same.

“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Mt. 5:44-45).

3.   God is all knowing, and we act to serve Him, not ourselves.

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven…But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Mt. 6:1,6)

4.   God provides for our every need — so that we can devote our lives to service to Him.

“…your Father knows what you need before you ask him… your heavenly Father knows [what] you need… But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt. 6:8, 32-33).

5.   He wants to grant our requests, if they are good for us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)

6.   God is merciful and expects us to be merciful, too.

“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).

(2) Lessons from the “children” passages

1.  We must be His children — and trust Him like children — if we want to be in His kingdom.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15).

2.  We must never put ourselves in our Father’s place.

“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:2-3).

(3) Lessons from the book of John

1.  Grace and truth are two key traits of the Father.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father” (John 1:14 RSV)

2.  God is love-He loves Jesus and all His children.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8).

“The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands” (John 3:35).

“No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God” (John 16:27).

3.  The Father is a teacher.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

“So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me” (John 8:28).

4.  The Father delegates authority.

“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son… For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself” (John 5:22,26).

To sum up, we can learn much about God as our Father by looking to Jesus. Jesus came to reveal the Father — and when we look to Jesus we “see” the Father. Our heavenly Father is very near, and He loves His children. He cares and provides for us with abiding love. Like any Father, he wants to develop our full potential. With a Father like this, the only question for us is this: How do we become His children?

How do we become children of the Father?

The Bible tells us much about the Father, but it shows us something even more powerful:

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13, RSV).

In answer to our question how to become children of the Father, one place we can look is the book of John. John is the “book of the Father”, because it contains more references to God as Father than any other book in the Bible (111 times!), but in another sense it is also the “book of the children”.

The main points of the Gospel of John are these:

God is the Heavenly Father.

Jesus is the Son of the Father.

 We can become His children too if we believe in Jesus.

The defining characteristic of a father is having children. The Gospel of John tells the story of the SON of God, and the process by which others become the children of God.

John 3 is an important place where Jesus discusses how we become the Father’s children. The chapter records a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, an elderly man who was among the most learned Jewish scholars of the day. In this conversation, Jesus lays out very clearly what we must do to become a member of God’s family. The conversation includes three brief exchanges between Jesus and Nicodemus. For clarity these are paraphrased as follows:

Lessons from John 3

First exchange(John 3:2-3)

Nicodemus: You are a teacher, and God is with you.

Jesus: If you truly want to enter the kingdom of God, you must be born “from above.” (The Greek word can mean “from above” as well as “again”.) Put another way, only children of the Father will inherit His kingdom.

Second exchange(John 3:4-8)

Nicodemus: How can this be? Can a man be “born” a second time?

Jesus: To be born again, “from above”, you must be born in a very special way: of water and spirit. That is what baptism really is — two events in one. When you are baptized, you go under the water and you rise a child of God. When you rise from the water, you are reborn and in a spiritual sense, you take your first “breath” as a child of God.

Third exchange(John 3:9-12)

Nicodemus: How can this be?

Jesus: While my words and actions prompted you to come tonight, you still do not believe in me. And now that I have elevated your thinking to truly heavenly topics you are still clearly not ready to believe in me. But you must believe if you want to be a child of the Father.

Nicodemus was a revered man in Israel. As he stood before Jesus, however, he really had nothing, because he was still not a child of the true Father. He had great knowledge, but he did not believe in the fullest sense. He did not put his trust in God’s cure for sin. He relied on a pile of rules that had accumulated for centuries.

Here is a very important principle to take to heart. We can understand every detail of God’s word in our mind. But if we do not truly believe, if we do not fully entrust our life to God then we are just like Nicodemus – standing before Jesus with our minds full of years of learning, but still not a child of the Father. We must never confuse knowledge with belief. Knowledge is a prerequisite to believing, but it never takes the place of it.

A few verses from the book of Proverbs provide one of the best definitions of “belief” in the whole Bible:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones”(Prov. 3:5-8)

Becoming a child of the Father begins with belief in the Lord Jesus, but it does not end there. Our belief must give rise to the earnest desire to be baptized, to be fully born from above.

A gospel summary in John 3:16

Later in John 3, in verse 16, the apostle provides a very useful summary of the lessons that Jesus taught Nicodemus-and those who still listen to his words in the 21st century. This summary, which some Bible scholars describe as the “gospel in miniature,” reinforces the process by which we join God’s family.

“God so loved the world . . .” the motive of every true father is love, and the same is true of our heavenly Father. He has provided for our every need. With the greatest care and motivated by the deepest love, He has provided for our greatest need of all, a cure from the sting of death.

“that he gave His only begotten son . . .”salvation comes from God. It is a gift that cannot be earned.

“that whoever believes on him . . .”you cannot be born from above unless you believe—unless you are fully persuaded that God is able to do what he has promised. We are justified by our faith, and by our faith alone.

“Believes into him . . .”the word “in” is translated from a Greek word that in almost every other place in the New Testament is translated “into.” One literal translation (The Emphatic Diaglott) translates the phrase this way: “that every one believing into him…”. While this is a little word, it describes an important step in the process-and spells the difference between belief and knowledge. We might know Christ, but not be in him. We might have the academic knowledge of Nicodemus, but not put every part of our trust in the son of God. Our belief must move us to baptism, for if we are not born of water we cannot see the kingdom of God.

“might not perish . . .”we must acknowledge that without Christ there is no cure for the sting of sin.

“but have everlasting life . . .”a child of the Father will live in the Father’s house, the new Jerusalem that was the last great vision that the apostle John described before he died (see Revelation 21:1-4).

To sum up, the key elements from John’s gospel are these:

Jesus is the Son of God.
God loves us as a Father.
He has provided His Son as the cure for sin.
To obtain that cure, we must believe into Jesus.
For if we are not born of water and spirit in baptism, we cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Believe, be born in baptism, become a child of the Father.

Lessons from the writings of the Apostle Paul

This message is not unique to John’s writings. It becomes the central theme for many of the letters written by Paul. Becoming a child of the Father was important to Paul for a very personal reason. Paul had been born Saul of Tarsus, a descendant of Abraham and a defender of the doctrine of righteousness through works. He discovered that being a child of the Father is something altogether different. It is a life based on faith in the Son of God, and a salvation based on God’s grace.

“. . . not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his descendants; but “Through Isaac shall your descendants be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are reckoned as descendants… So it depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy” (Romans 9:6-8,16 RSV).

Paul stresses the importance of baptism in joining God’s family in Galatians 3. There he underscores the principle that being a child of God is not a matter of natural descent – it is a matter of faith in the son of God!

“Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness”. Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the Gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith” (Galatians 3:6-9).

“The Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”(Galatians 3:22-27).


The Bible is the story of God revealing Himself as our heavenly Father and showing us how to become His children. That process is remarkably simple. Learn who the Father is by listening and looking to His son. Believe in his son-entrust your life to him. Be born from above by being baptized into the name of Jesus. Live a life full of faith until Jesus returns to gather God’s family together.

  • There is tremendous power in being a child of the Father. It is a privilege that we should never take lightly. God has promised us eternal life on earth.
  • To become a child of the Father, we must believe into Christ. We must know him, yes, but belief means much more than knowledge. It means trusting God with our heart, soul, and mind. It means trusting him in all the quiet decisions we face every day. Our knowledge must move us to action.
  • To become a child of the Father, our belief must move us to baptism, a blessed event that marks our birth into the family of the Father.
  • Becoming a child of the Father is a loving act of grace—there is nothing we do to earn it. We are born not of blood or the will of the flesh or the will of men, but by the grace of God. Paul and Nicodemus had spent whole lives dedicated to the human pursuit of righteousness. They learned what we must also know-we cannot earn our way into God’s family. Instead, we must believe into Christ, and through his grace, we will be given a new name—a child of the Father.

Kansas, Missouri, USA